prostitution is not an offence !

In a recent judgment pronounced on 24 September 2020, the Bombay High Court has expressly reiterated that ‘prostitution is not an offence and an adult woman has a right to choose her vocation’, thereby upholding the fundamental rights of prostitutes as citizens enshrined in Part III of the Constitution of India.

  1. Based on Bombay High Court Judgment …… clarifies that ITPA does not, and should not criminalize sex workers, and force them into detention.
  2. HELP & VIMUKTHI believes that not only voluntary sex workers, even survivors of trafficking should not be forced into forced detention in shelter homes.
  3. HELP & VIMUKTHI believes that sex workers are one of the most marginalised communities in the world and in India, we see that they are marginalised by class, gender, caste and in their citizenship entitlements. Therefore, ITPA’s purview towards sex workers is neglecting – the division between voluntary and involuntary sex work is not real.
  4. The reality is that most sex workers and victims of sex trafficking fall somewhere in the spectrum of choice, control, agency and power.
  5. Even rehabilitation as defined in the ITPA by way of institutionalization and services in shelter homes, is ineffective, as proven by the experience of survivors of sex trafficking over the last 70 years. What the last 70 years of anti trafficking work has taught us is that rehabilitation becomes far more effective when it is community based, where the person decides what rehabilitation or empowerment would entail and the State listens to them and responds with policies and laws on rehabilitation that helps them to fight poverty, violence and exploitation