November 30, 2020

Does the Legalization of Prostitution in few Countries Pave a way for it’s Legalization in India

“Prostitution world is not the fairy tale world for anyone. It is barbaric, wreckful, tactful, non-fervent and extremely contentious issue to write about.”

Some people say that prostitution should be legalized solely on the assumption that it will reduce the rate of rape. One who is unlettered in legal world would also say that prostitution should be legal because they think that it is always with the assent or the consent of the girl or women. The fact is if legalization of prostitution would have been so easy then probably it would have been legal already. The law on prostitution is indistinct on this topic itself. On the authority of The Immoral Traffic (Suppression) Act (SITA)[1], prostitutes can privately practice their trade but cannot solicit customers in public. Other than soliciting in public places activities like kerb crawling, owning or managing brothel, prostitution in hotel, child prostitution, pimping and pandering are illegal. There are many countries all around the world who has legalized prostitution. Some of these countries are New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Netherlands, etc. The probe arises that if prostitution can be a legal occupation like any other any occupation in these countries than why not in INDIA. Is INDIA not capable of giving the rights to women under article 14, article 19 (1)(g) and article 21 of the constitution?

The author/s of this essay stands on the footing of not legalizing prostitution in India. Tilting towards the side of not legalizing prostitution has its own reasoning. At the outset, prostitution is unwarranted and superfluous profession which leads to nowhere. Considering the certitude of the public saying that no prostitute would ever do such profession if it is not his or her need. Author figures that the understanding a circumstance does not lead a path to legalize any act. Moreover the situation of the man/woman wanting to be involved in the prostitution should be understood and then verified and justified. Just for say a country starts to gain rise in the theft crime. The government would probably not legalize the theft simply on the fact that the thief could not earn money and just because he/she didn’t had enough sources of income. So we see that circumstances of not earning money could definitely not be the reason of legalizing a case or an issue. We are from the country INDIA which is a developing nation and is a country of diversity not only from its culture but also in its occupation options. It is a country where a person happily cleans the city of the nation by cleaning the drainage system, cleaning the road, waste paper collectors, etcetera. There are maids, farmers, pottery makers, the worst poverty stricken labors (majdoors) who simply work on the concept of daily bread do their job happily knowing the fact that they earn and eat of the money from daily hard work. The writer of this thinks that it is the rasping reality that there is no needy circumstances for a one to become a prostitute. If one wants then he/she could plump for any work option than doing prostitution. So this leads us to the second contention which is human trafficking.

According to the authentic [2]source the biggest reason of human trafficking is sexual slavery or sexual exploitation and out of these victims 20% are children and majority are females. Prostitution leads to a major human trafficking issues. Imagine legalizing prostitution in India, it will lead to a drastic uplift in the human trafficking crime rate. With the increase of this crime the rate of organ trafficking eventually increases. So the fact of consent of prostitute herself willing to do prostitution is cancelled here because largely it’s not the consent of prostitute instead it is just the business for human traffic distributors.

Many people think that outlawing prostitution leads to arrest of women involved in as a prostitute. So say in case of rape who is punished the rapist or the victim? Hence rather than legalizing prostitution there should be check on these human trafficking dealers.

Further talking about legal and economic factors on for not legalizing prostitution. Prostitution if legalized will be one such profession where there will be null economical contribution to the society and nation. When saying goes like not legalizing prostitution will be violation of article 14 of the constitution[3] and so it is contrariwise since it would be injustice to those who earn and pay tax and contribute their income for the development of the nation. India is a rapidly developing country. Not only in economically but also the fact that you and I understand the conceptualization of section 377 [4]and even the situational matter of issues like martial rape under section 375 [5]of IPC.

With time India has been more quick and active in its legislature controlling so if the issue of prostitution has always been understood and not taken action upon then it can be completely the fact that it is not the need of the hour like issue of matter on legalization of the rights of LGBT was. It is clear that it is not the fault of government or any glitch on the part of legislatures. They are well concerned, contemporary, latter – day with the law making. So the noticeable point here is that the government is not the one who just ignorant about the legal issues of society, it simply believes that probably India is not in the stage of legalizing prostitution now. The income check of prostitutes can be really not be taken care of. Prostitution is even not that profession where one could calculate the average income.

Moreover legalizing prostitution brings to another facet that is health issues. Prostitutes need regular health scrutiny. Observing the gospel of the countries which has legalized prostitution law are either those countries which are entirely developed like Australia, Germany, France, etcetera which have the wherewithal for regular health scrutiny or are the countries which are under developing or low rate developing like Bangladesh where the economy of the country is biased towards the sex income. The countries like such need prostitution for attracting tourism and making economic stability with that. India is so blessed that even with just its agricultural trade it could balance its economy. India is not that country which needs to attract tourism. Returning to the health issues one verified statutory of health research [6]states that prostitution leads to physical injuries, gynecological problems, emotional trauma, addiction issues, depression, eating disorders, self-harm and suicidal ideation. India cares about it citizens and can’t be selfish to legalize prostitution solely on the misconceptions. Further legally talked many minors and helpless women are forced into this profession and tagged with the tag line “It’s their consent then why not?”

The question is, IS FORCED OR THE CONSENT OF MINOR LEGAL IN ITSELF?

Have you ever given a thought of the peril on prostitutes by legalizing prostitution? The countries where it is legalized to prostitute faces major issues like consent given to one but ending up with brutal gang rapes by drugging on the prostitute. While the consent to the sex is given the payer thinks the body to be theirs and leads to murderous physical harms to the prostitute. To this refer to the case SHANKAR V. CASE OF TAMIL NADU[7].

Lastly, it is a major misconception that laws are not ethics and moral based. If it would had been so India would not have been having laws like HINDU and MUSLIM LAWS but believe me it is not only in India but is customary globally. Countries like America and Thailand and has yet not legalized prostitution owing to the fact that it is ethically and morally against in the view of citizens there. India is a youth population nation. There can be no ignorance that India is a country of religious beliefs with major cities of worship places like Varanasi, Rishikesh, Madurai, Dwarka, Kedarnath, et cetera and is also rapidly growing with its educational booming cities like Kota, Jaipur, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, et cetera. With such boom of religious and educational sector in certain cities it is ungracious to deny the fact that legalization of prostitution will effect on the youth and also the religious and ethical and moral believing population. No matter what but this ethics believing people cannot be blindly ignored.

Henceforth by comparing international, circumstantial, legal, health, economical and ethical perspective there is lot of material to conclude that prostitution in India should not be legalized for now.

Therefore ending from the starting of this essay –

“Prostitution is not a fairy tale. ‘Pretty Woman’ normalizes something that destroys lives. It glamorizes prostitution and creates an illusion that prostitution is a voluntary, desirable occupation where it is just putting someone’s life in danger.”

[1] Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, (SITA), 1956

[2] https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/global-report-on-trafficking-in-persons.html ( citation to UN official researches and survey )

[3] Equality before law – equal protection of laws within the territory of India.

[4] Unnatural offences – legalization of LGBT provinces.

[5] Rape proceeding with section 376 with its punishments.

[6] https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/your-health/equalities-in-health/ ( uk health organization of health and human mental issues)

[7] 1994 SCC (4) 478, JT 1994 (3) 54

Author Details: Deeshana Doshi (Manipal University, Jaipur)

The views of the author are personal only. (if any)

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