May 4, 2024

One of the most contentious and intricate issues in the diversity of Indian society is the prostitution profession. The subject matter, which is often veiled in secrecy, generates discomfort, moral indignation, and heated discussion. However, prostitution persists because it is deeply embedded in the nation’s socioeconomic scenery, despite attempts to eradicate it.

prostitution meaning

  • The Latin term prostituere, which means to expose publicly, is where the word prostitution originates. In essence, prostitution is the exchange of sexual favours for cash.
  • Prostitution is a gender-specific issue, similar to other forms of violence committed by males against women, as the majority of victims are women.

Prostitution in India: Legislations

Although the profession has been there for a while in India, its legal standing has never been clear, and many have called for its legalization over the years.

  • Although prostitution itself is not illegal in the strict sense, there are some behaviours associated with it that are subject to legal penalties underthe Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act of 1986 permits sex workers to work in their industry, but certain activities, such as pimping and operating a brothel, are illegal.
  • Obtaining, inducing, or kidnapping someone for prostitution is prohibited.
  • The law further states that the activity is prohibited within 200 meters of any public area. Sex workers must pick a remote area in order to engage in legal prostitution.
  • This obviously casts doubt on the legitimacy of the prostitution industry.
  • Although there is uncertainty surrounding the legality of sex work in India, other nations have up till now legalized the industry, providing equal rights and protection for those who engage in it.

ipc section 372     

One of the sections of the 372 ipc, addresses the trafficking of minor girls under the age of eighteen for the purposes of prostitution, illicit sex, or other illegal and immoral activities.

The important ingredients for prostitution in ipc are as follows:

  • Someone who disposes of, lends to, or sells another person.
  • A minor child is the object of the sale, loan, or disposal process.
  • The objective of the selling, lending, or disposing of has been to coerce the child into prostitution, illegal sexual activity, or any other illegal or immoral activity.

Thus, regardless of any other indifference like caste or group, this regulation protects girls’ virginity and extends to married and unmarried female minors. In summary, the main goal of this section of prostitution under ipc is to penalize those who intentionally and knowingly place a kid in danger of degradation.

Present prostitution legal Status

  • In the year 2020, without requiring identifying documentation, the SC ordered States and Union Territories to give dry food to sex workers who were identified by the National Aids Control Organization (NACO).
  • The court recently observed that the Centre still needed to introduce a law on the matter, in spite of its promises.
  • Using its extraordinary powers according to Article 142, the court ordered states and UTs to follow its recommendations regarding sex workers and related matters.

Recommendations were ordered to be put into action by the order.

  • A clause requiring any sex worker who is the victim of sexual assault to receive emergency medical care
  • Providing states with instructions to survey every Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act Protective Homes
  • Educate law enforcement officials about the rights of sexual workers, ensuring that they are treated with respect and are not subjected to verbal or physical abuse.
  • Ask the Press Council of India to release suitable rules telling the media to be extremely cautious about not disclosing the identity of sex workers.
  • Measures taken for the health and safety of sex workers should not be interpreted as crimes or used as proof that they have committed any crimes.

In a country where prostitution has long been acknowledged as a profession and is still a booming sector, it would be irresponsible to ignore prostitution in india and pretend that the system and its flaws don’t exist. Sex workers will live better lives with greater pay, health security, and protection if sex work is legalized and decriminalized under the right laws and regulations.

In addition, it will be a constructive move on the part of society to eradicate many social ills like rape and child prostitution. Sex trade is a very real thing in our nation, and everyone who is involved can profit if it is accepted as a genuine business with appropriate regulations and protections. Society can only improve with a more inclusive legal framework and the application of all protective measures.

Prostitution in India FAQs

  1. What are the problems faced by prostitutes in India?

Because of this stigma, sex workers and their families are deprived of fundamental rights: women cannot get quality healthcare, and they are frequently the targets of abuse, violence, and exploitation by the police and other government agencies; their children are harassed at work and in schools.

  • Is prostitution a criminal Offence in India?

Although it is technically illegal in some circumstances, such as public solicitation, trafficking, and pimping, prostitution is allowed in India. Prostitution is legal in India, although many Indians still consider it to be immoral and against their traditional norms.

  • Are prostitutes high risk?

People who exchange sex for cash or non-cash products run a higher risk of contracting HIV and other STDs.

  • Is prostitution bailable?

Such an offense is not subject to bail, and the onus of proof rests with the individual who has been charged with it to disprove the allegations.

  • What is the section of prostitution in India?

According to Section 372 IPC, anyone who sells, rents, or otherwise disposes of a person under the age of eighteen with the intention that the person will be used or employed for prostitution, illicit sex, or any other illegal or immoral purpose at any age, or who knows that the person will likely be used or employed for any of these purposes at any age, faces up to ten years in prison of either kind in addition to penalties.

  • Is prostitution right or wrong?

This is a personal choice, so there are multiple ways to respond to it. While some may think paying for sex is immoral, others might not think it’s ever wrong. In the end, it is up to the individual whether or not to pay for sex.

  • Is red light area legal in India?

Red light areas are forbidden and subject to penalties in the proximity of public places such as schools, universities, temples, and so on, as stated in Section 7 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956. It does not, however, specifically state that the red light area is unlawful.

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