Consenting adult sex workers should not be arrested, says Supreme Court panel


A Supreme Court panel has reportedly said consenting adult sex workers should not be arrested. A panel instituted by the Supreme Court has suggested that adults participating with consent should not be subjected to police action since prostitution per se is not illegal.According to a report in Hindustan Times, the panel also suggested amendment to the imprisonment clauses and said no action should be taken against a sex worker’s family unless it’s proven that they forced her into the trade. Human trafficking is banned by Indian laws and prostitution in public places is illegal. The panel’s report is expected by March.

“Whenever there is a raid on a brothel, since voluntary sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful, the sex workers should not be arrested or penalised or harassed or victimised,” the panel said.

The committee, headed by senior advocate Pradip Ghosh, also has the mandate to suggest measures for rehabilitation of sex workers who wish to leave prostitution so that they can live with dignity. The majority of India’s estimated 1.2 million prostitutes are forced into the trade by crushing poverty.



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