Feb 03,2023 | 8 min read

Prostitution: Legality and Morality in India

The debate around prostitution in India is as old as time, but it has recently taken a brand new turn as the legality of the trade has come into question. India has become a major destination for sex tourism, and the potential of immoral trafficking has become a real threat. With the rise in sex trafficking, prostitution has become a major moral and legal issue in India.


Prostitution is illegal in India under the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act of 1986. The law criminalizes the purchase and sale of sexual services, and any person found guilty of participating in prostitution can be prosecuted. The law also criminalizes brothel ownership, pimping, and procuring. The law also holds clients of prostitutes accountable for their actions, as they are seen as encouraging the act.


Despite the law, prostitution is still prevalent in India. The majority of prostitutes in India are from rural areas and are often exploited by traffickers. The risk of human trafficking is heightened due to poverty, lack of education, and gender inequality. According to the United Nations, India is the most common source country for women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation.


The issue of prostitution has recently been brought to the forefront by the Supreme Court of India. In 2018, the court asked the government to take steps to curb the exploitation of women in prostitution. The court also asked the government to consider legalizing prostitution in certain areas, while maintaining strict control. The government has responded by taking steps to reduce the exploitation of women in prostitution. For example, the government has launched a nationwide awareness campaign to raise awareness of the risks and dangers associated with the commercial sex trade. The government has also established a National Commission for Women to ensure that the rights of women and girls in prostitution are protected.


Despite government efforts, the morality of prostitution remains a contentious issue in India. While some argue that prostitution is a form of exploitation and should be criminalized, others argue that it is a legitimate form of work and should be decriminalized. Proponents of decriminalization point to the fact that criminalization does not end prostitution, but rather drives it underground, making it more dangerous for those involved.


The debate around the morality of prostitution in India is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Regardless of which side of the debate one stands on, it is clear that trafficking laws must be enforced to protect women and girls from exploitation. It is also essential that the government continues to take steps to raise awareness of the risks and dangers associated with the commercial sex trade. Only then can the exploitation of women in prostitution be eradicated in India.


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