Prostitution is recognized as a universal dilemma, so as it is estimated in India. Prostitution is conceding sexual services concerning money. Furthermore, Prostitute is a character who grants sexual services for payment. 

In today’s life, it has developed into an enormous business. Most of them are trafficked in this field and only several are ingesting it out of their independent discretion. Furthermore, this is the period where it has transformed into a dilemma. Prostitution as a profession is estimated of extremely immoral nature in India. Despite the term, ‘prostitution’ is also a ban in the Indian community.

Main Reasons for Prostitution in India

  • Poverty –The shortage of funds causes the helpless woman at the gates of prostitution. Funds are a significant regulating portion in our living and for endurance, people lead to entertaining in several exercises to make money, whether they are legitimate or illegitimate. 
  • Human Trafficking –According to the Ministry of Human and Child Development around 30,000 women and teenagers were the sufferer of human trafficking in 2016 in India. According to Human Rights Watch analysis, there are more exceeding than 20 million prostitutes in India and 35% of them have begun this profession at a period of fewer than 18 years.
  • The situation of Women – Everyone discusses woman empowerment and gender equity, but the actual figure states that woman is still being operated as a gadget. This mindset of analyzing women as just a gadget for accomplishing the sexual impulse is also one of the principal reasons following the dilemma of prostitution in India.

Aside from those significant problems, there are numerous other circumstances which contribute towards and give commencement to this dilemma. Some of these portions are family antiquity of prostitution, absence of sex education, the caste practice in the community, etc.

Wicked Revolution in Indian Society

In India, it is extremely challenging to assume the mindset of bodies towards prostitution. 

Numerous people in the community consider that no one is forced because of poverty to do before-mentioned immoral actions and there are several other recognizing roles which a woman can do to secure a livelihood, yet if she is not educated, she can do the household task as a servant or another job of admiring nature. Although the paradox is, whether the corresponding people will acknowledge these women, who were involved in prostitution, to ingest their household work? Or choose them for any distinct sort of work? Most people in India will respond to this negatively.

This simplistic design of society’s mindset represents that prostitutes are grounded in this wicked cycle. The causes for the equivalent are human trafficking scams and the barrier formed with the community. 

What is Legal and what not beneath Prostitution?

At the origin, prostitution is authorized in India. Notwithstanding, certain movements associating with prostitution are pronounced prohibited by legislation. Some of the exercises that are addressed illegal are –

  • Asking in a public area,
  • Kerb Crawling,
  • Prostitution in Resorts, hotels, hostels,
  • Juvenile prostitution,
  • Brothels, etc.

Law associating to Prostitution in India

Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956 (SITA) monitors the situation of sex workers in India. This Clause sets down that procuring prostitution settings is permitted only when it is provided out in private however, they cannot communicate the trade in the public. The exchange of sex for payment is permitted in a personal room exclusively. Notwithstanding, there are some limitations such as a woman cannot implement these settings within the ambit of 200 yards of a common area. 

Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986, was legislated as a supplement to SITA. This Act made several exercises prohibited with respect to prostitution. This Act does not criminalize the assistance rendered by prostitutes but dismisses the acts of the third party in supporting, aiding, etc. and inhibits these settings in public.

  • There are procurements for the detention of a prostitute for seducing others to avail of her co-operation. Moreover, call girls are not permitted to make their phone numbers known. Those acts draw arrest of 6 months with penalties. 
  • Criminals and other characters who reside on the interest acquired by prostitute are additionally accountable following the Act for the sentence of 2 to 4 years. 
  • Section 3 of the Act grants that people who operate brothels and the landlords of the equivalent are also performing unlawful acts as per the aforementioned Act. This is condemned for a duration of 2 years, in the matter of the primary offense and case of succeeding condemnation rigorous confinement for a duration of 5 years with a penalty.
  • Coercively holding any woman in the brothel to render sexual assistance is also condemned under the Act for the least duration of 7 years.
  • Additionally, procuring prostitution services in hotels is banned.

Despite all these prohibitions, many brothels are operating in centers like Delhi and Mumbai.

The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986 also concentrates on the Restoration of Sex Workers as it implements standards for the well-being of victims. Restoration constitutes legal, mental, well-being, and educative assistance in a sense to empowering the victims to seek society as a regular human being. It sets up guarding restoration houses for these schemes which are governed by the State Government. 

Status of Rights of Prostitutes

Pension Rights – An Umbrella assortment of sex workers organization, ‘All India Network of Sex Workers’, fought for subsidy benefits on 10th March 2014. The association conferred a letter directing that sex workers in India are not entertained uniformly. A spokesperson from the Organization also highlighted that sex operators in India withdraw at the period of 40-45 years, which is much immediate than the distinct population, and accordingly, the necessity to bring them pension schemes is important.

Right to Equality – Right to be administered equally and live with complete human dignity is assured to each person and therefore, it is also supported by sex workers. But inexperienced, many incidents have appeared where sex workers are being handled discriminately and indeed police or government leaders are affirmed to be connected in before-mentioned acts.

Right to Vote – In 2004, though a campaign originated by NGOs, it evolved out that only 20% of sex workers enrolled as voters. A local leader and connected with a legislative party announced the process of assigning voter IDs for sex workers commenced after the 2009 elections. He additionally announced “Their names indicate in the Lok Sabha electoral list and they will shortly get their IDs”, as encompassing 1,500 sex workers appealed for the voter ID Cards. 

The sex-workers also possess all the rights which are confirmed to any other citizen, but as we can determine from the above-mentioned data, the circumstances of their rights are inadequate when it proceeds to implementation.

Steps were exerted by Judiciary

In Gaurav Jain v. Union of India and Others (1997), regulations were furnished by SC for the upliftment of prostitutes by restoration through self-employment designs and demonstration of the juvenile habitat for the children of prostitutes.

In 2009, the Supreme Court recommended that prostitution should be made unlawful. Additionally, an appeal was conferred before the Supreme Court’s special panel, which endeavoured to modify the law. In the application, it was asserted that several prostitutes of GB Road, Delhi have communicated and they crave to obtain legal status. Through the interaction, it has additionally come out that they are even scared to address the doctors. They are also anxious to continuously harassed by police and being ejected by their landlords if they got to grasp regarding their profession.

In 2011, the bench directed by Justice Katju, asked recommendations from the committee, consisting of Superior Advocates and NGOs, to facilitate those sex operators who wanted to “resume operating as sex workers” and to do so among dignity. The court additionally directed the Centre and State governments to initiate examinations to determine how many sex workers required restoration and present the analysis to the committee authorized by it.


As explained above, most of the prostitutes are adhered to in the wicked cycle of prostitution, from which they are incapable to proceed out. The mindset of the community can be assumed to be the principal cause for the equivalent. Aside from this, the implementation of restoration is incompetent which builds the gap among the law and its objectives. Taking into statement the regulations regarding prostitution in India, assuredly, a question occurs that how can it be declared legal when nearly all exercises allied with it are indicated by law prohibited? And despite all the attempts made by Courts and NGOs, the sex workers are certainly being abused at the hands of police officers and politicians certainly they should encourage these helpless women. 

Author: Varun Vikas Srivastav,
Amity Law School, Amity University Noida and 4th Year BBA.LLB

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