Prostitution in India: Protection of human rights of Sex Workers in India

Soham Das and Ritika Ghosh
Amity Law School, Amity University Kolkata, India.

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

Prostitution is the second oldest occupation after agriculture and has its roots in India since ages. Its existence is evident in the historical texts. The question that remains unanswered is whether the sex workers have any human rights at all or whether they are merely seen as a sexual object. India is a signatory to a number of international covenants on human rights along with rights of women and also the Constitution of India protects the right of individuals against discrimination, nonetheless it has failed to adequately protect the human rights of sex workers. This paper seeks to unravel some concealed facts about the human rights of sex workers in India and whether the Indian legal system acknowledges the rights of the sex workers. It also aims to uncover the prevailing condition of them in our Indian society. The research paper is concluded with noteworthy findings and recommendations that may assist to re-establish the fundamental human right of the sex workers in India.

“We want laws to be refocused on making sex worker’s lives safer and improving the relationship they have with the police while addressing the very real issue of exploitation. We want governments to make sure no one is coerced to sell sex, or is unable to leave sex work if they choose to.”

-Tawanda Mutasah,

Senior Director for Law and Policy (Amnesty International Secretariat.)

Keywords: – Prostitution, sex workers, brothels, human right, right to work with dignity, workplace, sexual harassment.