‘HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE SEXWORKERSRISHIKA AHUJA,semester 6 Amity Law School,A country like India is among those nations whichare developing in its character and it does not come into the list of developedcountries.
So if the country is developing in its nature it will bepreoccupied with many issues related to social, political and economic.One of the most glaring issues which demand immediate legislation is ”HUMANRIGHTS OF THE SEX WORKERS”. The reason for effective legislation in thecountry like India is asked because we know there is a violation ofhuman rights in the lives of the citizens in some of the other way butespecially in the lives of sex workers and prostitution.
As we know theconstitution of India which is given the status of supreme law of theland which clearly mentions in article 15 that the state will not discriminatein giving incentives to the citizens of the country on the basis of sex,colour, race, caste, religion etc though we see discrimination done to peoplewho are engaged in work of sex. In India because of certain factorslike lack of education, orthodox views etc the work of sex istreated to be a dirty work and immoral too for that reason and thepeople are asked to stay away from these people. Just because the sexwork is not treated as work they are denied of basic rights and theirfamilies, therefore, women cannot access good healthcare and are often subjectto abuse, violence, and exploitation by police and government officials, whiletheir children face harassment in schools and the workplace too. The reason forlooking down on the sex workers is because of not having a clear vision on thistype of work by people in the country like India and more problems arecreated by media which regarded as the fourth pillar of the constitutionwhich tries to portray the image of women in prostitution as either overlysexual outcasts who threaten the very structure of Indian family life, orabused and exploited victims. While there is situation wherewomen’s are the victims of trafficking in sex work in recent times, and thereare the majority of women in sex work also consent for doing this work. It iscompletely their decision to make money from sex. There are twocategories of sex workers first that all people in sex work have beencoerced, bribed, blackmailed or forced into the trade that no woman could “choose”to be in sex work, to make money from sex, therefore, this relates with sexualexploitation. Secondly is that sex work is a legitimate businessand should be treated as such.
Approaching sex work from a businesspoint of view allows women and men involved in the trade to demand theirbusiness rights, human rights and occupational health and safety regulations.The law dealing with the sex workers is Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act(ITPA) of 1986 which tries to prevent trafficking of persons in India andprohibits outward manifestations of sex work, including brothel operating. Theact does not specifically prohibit prostitution, but law enforcement officialshave continuously used it to harass sex workers. There was a sex worker statedthat at night police officers would come and do sex with without usingprecautions and later make a case against them without any reason. So as longas the law gives the authority to the corrupt police officials and governmentauthorities, stories such as this would be in more talk across the country. CONCLUSIONThe solution is the change of mentalityand allows the sex worker to have access to the human right.
The sex worker isnot a threat to the society nor have any bad impact on the Indian familyculture. They are capable enough to demand their rights. So the societyinstead of showing sympathy to these workers shall break their own narrowmisconceptions and judgments made by the sex worker and start givingand respecting this work great value and like the business. The sex workers in India should be allowed to access and enjoy theirrights, stereotypes thoughts about sex work need to be broken down.
The sex worker does not necessarily need tobe rescued because she is not a threat to the greater cruel society, nor is shea walking case of HIV. She is capable of advocating for herself and can demandher own rights. They face a lot of discrimination and hardships, people in sexwork neither do they need sympathy by the people. What they need is that restof the society to recognize and fight against their own orthodox views,judgments, unfounded fears and misconceptions.
Basically suggestions arewelcomed to change the perspective towards prostitution and law on prostitutionand trafficking so that a better environment and surroundings can be createdfor the women in prostitution can be ensured thereby allowing them to lead apeaceful life of dignity, free from coercion, abuse, violence. As said by Mr.Rabindranath Tagore “Where the mind is without fear and the head is heldhigh.
.. into that heaven of freedom my father let my country awake”. The law ontrafficking should impose sanctions on persons actually involved intrafficking. There must be a clear and unambiguous definition of trafficking.Sanctions have to be imposed on trafficking involving child prostitution andforced prostitution which involves rape, sexual assault, criminal intimidation,use of force and coercion, abduction, kidnapping, 260 buying and selling ofhuman beings, wrongful confinement of women in brothels for their initiationinto prostitution. These have to be made punishable with severe penalties.