Legality of Prostitution In India

By | August 11, 2017

Indian law does not allow prostitution. Law is vague and ambiguous when it comes to prostitution. Prostitution itself is not punishable under law but activities related to it such as running brothel, any act being taken out in public place, pimps etc. are punishable. There are 2 million sex workers presently working in India, unofficial number is expected to be much higher than this. As there is no proper law, the sex workers are exploited by the pimps and the owners because they have nowhere to go. Once a female is involved in such activities she is not accepted back in the society or family, resulting in them continuing with same under social pressure.

Prostitution is the practice of sexual service in exchange of payment. There are many reasons which can result in increasing number of sex workers in India.

• Poverty
• Lack of Education
• Breakdown of Marriage
• Family business
• Human Trafficking etc.
• Criminal background
• personal tragedies

The women and girls are abducted or kidnapped from various places mostly from Nepal, West Bengal and Bangladesh but mostly are trafficked. They are than forced in this business. The girls are as young as 12 year old and woman as old as they can work.

The biggest red light area of India is in Mumbai and Kolkata respectively. There are many woman and girls who are working in this profession against their will. Mostly fallen in the trap of the pimps and brothel owners.

There are many grievous consequences, when a woman or girl is thrown into this pit, Social isolation, Sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, Cervical Cancer, Branding etc. are only some of them.

Laws related to Prostitution in India:

1. Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act 1956
2. Sec. 372 and 373 of Indian Penal Code

Both these laws are here to prevent the practice of prostitute related activities. PITA also criminalizes the Client. While Sec. 372 and 373 restricts the sell and purchase of minor for the purpose of prostitution and illicit intercourse.

There is no specific law to deal with the problems faced by a sex worker and their child. When 2 million people are working as sex worker and every year more than 20,000 women and girls are forced to walk on this path. This law does not protect the rights of the sex worker but criminalizes the activities related to prostitution. Prostitution is legal in India but activities are not. The demand for legalization of prostitution in India is really high. But some of them consider this against the Indian Society.


The practice of Prostitution should be legalized. This will help to track the actual no. of people involved in this business. The rights of these people will be recognized once they get sanctioned by the law. The life of children of sex workers will be secured. There will be a restriction on human trafficking for the purpose of sex. The Workers will come under other laws also once it is recognized as a legal activity which will secure the rights of these Sex workers.

Prostitution in India is a huge industry which is already active and working in whole of India. Although it is illegal but when someone has tight grip on the roots of corruption, even though it is illegal, it is shown as legal. Even Lawyers in India sometimes rejects to take their cases just because they belong to the community of the prostitutes which is utterly unprofessional. The last hope left for them is Judiciary.

Author – Lexcarts

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