prostitution and slavery in context of India and worldwidestitution

Prostitution and Slavery- Indian & Worldwide Context


The definition of slavery also remains because for both men and women it is special. It is commonly referred to as hurtful work for men and is also trafficking for women. Prostitution is considered the oldest occupation in the country, in which individuals participate in the company or activity of offering sexual services in return for payment. In 2012, there were estimated around 40 to 42 million prostitutes in the world.

If there is no problem with slavery, so nothing is a problem. Slavery is a miserable situation of needing to work without adequate remuneration. It applies to a condition when people are controlled by someone and another entity governs their lives. The Global Slavery Ranking, 2018 reports that almost 8 million people were living in modern slavery in India on any given day in 2016. India ranked 53 among 167 nations, with North Korea at the top of the list.

Prostitution and slavery are phenomena that have existed in countries for decades. They are a horrifying state involving more child trafficking. Kids become major losers of all of the problems. Persons participating in these practices cannot leave unless they are compelled to do so and have no other way to survive.

Another group of victims was expected to start indirectly owing to hardship and jobs. The paper ‘s principal slogan is to establish a comparative interpretation of the legislation produced globally to abolish pornography and slavery. This paper also highlights the legal aspects of prostitution and slavery which prevail in India.


As we discussed earlier prostitution is an act that includes sex for money or other purposes. Typically speaking, individuals interested in this company would be in no way connected. To them, they are neither couple nor any known person. Individuals doing this activity as a business are called prostitutes. Male, female or even transgenders may be prostitutes. Nevertheless, previous investigations have shown that most of the prostitutes are women.

They ‘re commonly called with various names like call girls, escort girls, roadside brothel, etc. We accept this practice as a career in a few occasions but more on several other cases we find this behaviour a sin and have rules to eradicate this practice. Countries where they have embraced this as career regard this behaviour as being right and satisfying a human being’s natural impulse. Even the countries that have opted to prevent this occupation regard this practice as one that is unethical and prove to be detrimental even to the parties participating in the operation.

Speaking of viewing this activity as a sin, India has some legislation to eliminate this activity. Prostitutes in ancient India are referred to as devadasis, in which ‘dev’ means deity and ‘basis’ means female prostitute. In India devoting women to god was a widespread practice. Such girls dedicated to god may not yet have reached their maturity, so they are therefore barred from marrying anybody. Such girls are used mainly for purposes of entertainment.

They are known as jogini. Earlier, the government attempted to put in laws to prevent this practice, but they were ineffective as misery, insecurity and hunger existed in those days. Some of the factors of prostitution are poor spouse, bad upbringing, lack of sex education, abuse, violence, social triggers, recognition, trafficking in the home and early incest. Prostitution can cause other health issues for prostitutes as well as customers like Aids, genital cancer, Tb, traumatic brain injuries and psychiatric illnesses.

Indian law on Prostitution

Prostitution is not criminalized in India but there are some cases under which the prostitutes or even the vendors and clients are prosecuted. Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act and Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act was enforced in the year 1956 to halt trafficking among women.

Let’s now see those significant actions and their penalty

  • It is specified in Section 3 of this Act that if any individual is found to be engaged in brothel-keeping, they will be punished harshly from 1 year to 3 years and a penalty of up to 2,000 rupees. Yet again, if prosecuted for the same crime, they would face serious imprisonment from 2 years to 5 years and also a penalty, a maximum of 2,000 rupees.

The individual who is the applicant, the lessee, the investor, the individual in possession, the shareholder, the lessor, the landlord or the officer of the premises who knowingly associates with this sort of actor who knows that such activity is taking place, has seen any records written about the premises on which these actions take place or any items of the person identified by some way may be charged under Section 3.

  • A individual who, with or without the permission of the victim, procures or attempts to obtain, induces or tries to take the subject, causes or induces the individual to bear prostitution shall be punished with a stringent sentence of three to seven years and with a penalty of two thousand rupees; When the same party is sentenced for the same offence, they may seek a substantial sentence compounded to 14 years ‘ incarceration under Section 5.
  • Under Section 4, any individual residing in prostitution shall be punished with the imprisonment of two thousand tears or a penalty of two thousand rupees or both. Where if the offender stays with a child’s or a minor’s sex earnings then he will be sentenced with a minimum of seven years in prison and a maximum of ten years in prison.
  • Any person who engages in prostitution in any of the public places or places referred to in Section 7 shall be punished with imprisonment for a period of up to three months for prostitutes and their consumers, if the same is committed to a child or a minor, the penalty shall be less than seven years imprisonment, which may even extend to life imprisonment.
  • If any person is detained at the place where brothel or activities involving sexual intercourse, they shall be punished with imprisonment for a minimum of seven years up to a maximum of ten years, which may extend to life imprisonment under Section 6 of the Act under certain circumstances.
  • According to Section 21, it is the Government’s responsibility to offer care and protection for saved persons to those requesting assistance.

There are a total of 25 parts of this Act. All of these 25 parts concentrate on defending not just the public but also infants, juveniles and prostitution. Our judiciary has never refused to uphold prostitution rights. In Sahyog Mahila Mandal And Anr vs Gujarat And Ors state.

This was claimed that it should not rob them of their right to life and equality simply that these people were involved in the sex trade. This was claimed that pornography, per se, was not a criminal act, and the crime was performed merely while a prostitute worked within the informed region.

Prostitutes are rarely lacking civil freedoms. A change was introduced in this Act in the year 2006 but is not yet enforced. It suggested an increase in the number of fines, boosted punishments and also included central and state-level authorities to combat trafficking.

There is also a concept called coerced prostitution where some other adult compels a child or a teenager to sell himself. Section 372 of the Indian Penal Code punishes a person who forces and sells prostitution to any child or minor for at least ten years with imprisonment. Section 373 of the Indian Penal Code punishes a person who buys the minor or infant with ten years imprisonment for the intent of prostitution.

There is also a National Commission for Women which was formed in 1990 by implementing the National Commissions Act. This Committee also defends people from sexual abuse, trafficking in children, sexual violence and a number of other topics. In addition, if any child becomes abused, the child involved or any person connected to the child must instantly contact and discuss their concerns to the childline number 1098.

Furthermore, the government has introduced various programs to protect the victims of crime. This is the prostitution situation in India. Not only does the government help us avoid prostitution, but there are also many NGOs such as the Neptune Foundation, Snehalaya, GPCT, etc. that help by raising awareness about HIV / AIDS and helping prostitutes by providing them with jobs, food, basic needs and improving their lives. To get through this completely, prostitutes should be informed about HIV / AIDS, the victims should be granted structured education. There should be more rehabilitation centres with government-appointed trained counsellors, and every woman should be well aware of the laws so that she can courageously face any dangerous situation.

Legality Of Prostitution In Other Places Of The World

Let’s glimpse other nations. Prostitution has been legalised in New Zealand since 2003. We don’t hold this action against their morals. Across Australia, prostitution ‘s legal standing varies from one country to another. It is regarded as a lawful practice in some jurisdictions, and as an unlawful activity in other others. Prostitution in Austria is completely legitimate. Yet the prostitutes still have some requirements to obey.

Prostitutes, for example, should be over age 19, they should receive a medical test and some other training as well. No wonder we might imagine more coerced prostitution in Austria. Anything is lawful in Bangladesh like pimping and running a brothel but male prostitution is illegal. In Bangladesh further cases of child, trafficking arise. Throughout Belgium, to remove the stigma, pornography is legalised. Such operation is regulated by the states that offer the keycards to the people who want to partake in this program. Prostitution is still common in Brazil.

Prostitution is common in Canada but sex purchasing was illegal in 2004. Prostitution is permissible in Colombia but pimping is criminal. Prostitution in Denmark is lawful where the government receives some extra charges and helps to lay people with disabilities. Sex is legal in France but it is illegal to pimp, try sex in public and brothel. Prostitution was legalised in 1927 in Germany.

Including bonded and coerced labour, there are also other forms of slavery that can be listed as under:

  • Forced labour: Slavery is the most common method. This is a type of labour, whereby a person is compelled to operate mainly under pressure, duress or abuse for his employer. This is a condition in which the individual is compelled to operate against his will. Forced labour also involves child labour within its scope. Child labour is very common in India where children are forced to take part in dangerous and dangerous industries. Children may be trapped in debt slavery, child labour, adultery, militias, housework and other dangerous types of work.
  • Forced labour: Forced work is also defined as debt slavery. It defines the kind of slavery that compels a person to function in order to repay a debt. How it differs from other forms is that the labourer and the employer often initially conclude a mutual agreement. However, contract conditions can be illegal and/or much more advantageous to the contractor than to the labourer. Such employees are prisoners as they begin to work, however owing to exploitative contract conditions they are unwilling to pay back their original loan, and thus cannot quit.
  • Chattel Slavery: Like every other product on the planet, chattel slavery is a system that enables man to possess, sell and purchase. During his lifespan, the man is required to be a worker and this responsibility is always transferred into the next generation. And any slave born children will also be a personal slave. The whole community opposes this as the greatest insult of human honour and no culture has declared it legitimate.
  • Forced marriages and sex trafficking: Trafficking of this type is very popular in certain areas of the world. Women and sometimes young girls are required to marry older men with a wealthy status in society in order to get the so-called life assurance. The main task of such enslaved persons is to fulfil their husbands’ every whim and every fancy. They are mainly employed as sex slaves because there are physical and emotional violence and torture. The most common occurrences are in countries in the Middle East, China, North Korea and war-torn areas like Syria.

Laws Concerning Slavery In India:

India has numerous anti-slavery legislation and rules. The Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act, 1976, is one of the main acts enacted to abolish slavery. This Act provided various provisions against the scheme of bonded labour.

  • The main protection provided to bonded labour at the time the Act was enacted was that bonded labour was excluded from the duty to supply bonded labour [vii].
  • Any custom/agreement under which slave labour occurred was made invalid and inoperable under section 5.
  • The institution of any lawsuit before any civil court was prohibited in respect of the recovery of the bonded debt.
  • “No declaration or directive for the restitution of the bonded debt passed previous to the commencement of this Act and not completely fulfilled previous to that commencement shall be considered to have been completely settled upon such commencement. “[viii]
  • According to section 7, every mortgage property belonging to every secured debt shall be issued at the outset of the Act.’
  • Under Section 8 of the Act, a freed bonded labour shall not be expelled from the household.
  • The Act punishes any individual who is obliged to inflict imprisonment on any bonded labour for a period of up to 3 years and also for a fine of up to 2000 rupees.

Union For Democratic Rights of the People V. Union Of India

The Petitioner asked three social scientists to look into the circumstances in which the worker was employed in Asiad Projects. The Petitioner also sent a letter to Justice P. N. Bhagawati focused on the social sciences’ inquiries. The Hon’ble Supreme Court, according to the same, took note on the judicial side of the letter and gave notice to Union of India and State of Delhi.

The court argued that:

“The Union of India, the Delhi Administration and the Delhi Development Authority can not escape their duty to the workers to ensure that their contractors comply with the provisions of different labour laws and that the contractors fail to comply with the laws, the workers would clearly have a cause of action against them as principal employers.”

Neerja Chaudhary V., Madhya Pradesh State

The Petitioner claimed that a number of labourers saved from the quarries of Faridabad were not rehabilitated, given the fact that a long period had elapsed. The petitioner argued that the government of the state was obliged to overlook the rehabilitation of rescued labourers and the rehabilitation of labourers is necessary in order to guarantee their right to life under the Indian Constitution of 1950.

The Hon’ble Court held that the bonded labourers must be identified, rescued, and also rehabilitated, in accordance with the requirements of Article 21 and 23. The court stressed the importance of rehabilitation, noting that in the absence of any concrete measures to rehabilitate rescued labourers, they would again be driven into the state of poverty and under standard conditions and could lead them back to the bonded labour system.

Laws on Slavery Worldwide

Slavery has been prevalent throughout all societies worldwide. In different countries, the practice of slavery was abolished at different times. Slavery in both nations has been eliminated de jure to this day. Several nations, though, do require such activities which are close to slavery, and still occur in other countries across the world in a specific way.

There are several treaties, agreements, and resolutions concerned with slavery. Under Contemporary Law slavery has been ended. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)[xiii] ensures that no person is to be held in slavery or servitude. In addition, it states that slavery must be eliminated in all forms. There are other conventions that have been introduced in international law, such as Protocol to the Abolition of Slavery. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ( ICCPR) also promises that there should be no person facing slavery. The Abolitionist Movement has been taking place all over the world to abolish slavery.


Prostitution and slavery are the most endangering type of abuses of human rights in the world. Surprisingly, unlike every other issue, both problems aren’t different depending on faith, nationality, culture, sex, caste, class, etc. Though unbiased in these respects, they corrupt the entire universe. Some countries approved of these concepts and the rest refused. Those countries that disapprove had different approaches to getting rid of such a problem. Assenting to or denying these issues depends on the culture, norms, mentality of the people etc. of the country. The biggest issue here isn’t over the idea of being approved or rejected. All we need to do is end human rights violations.

Author: Arvind Bhati,
Lloyd law college 3rd year student

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