Supreme Court recognises sex work as a ‘profession’

Tags: National

The Supreme Court has recognise prostitution (sex work) as a profession. The Supreme Court clearly said that the police cannot interfere in this nor can any action be taken against sex workers who do this work with consent.

  • What did the Supreme Court say?

  • Sex work is a profession and its practitioners are entitled to respect and equal protection under the law.

  • Under Article 21 of the Constitution, every person of this country has the right to lead a dignified life.

  • Criminal law should apply equally to all cases on the basis of 'age' and 'consent'.

  • A three-judge bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao ordered that sex workers should not be arrested or punished or harassed or victimized whenever a brothel is raided.

  • This order was passed by the Supreme Court after invoking the special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution.

  • Sex workers can also be victims of sexual harassment, they should be provided with all facilities including immediate medical-legal care.

  • Constitutional protection

  • Article 23 of the Indian Constitution which was amended in 2014, includes the following provisions -

  1. Traffic in human beings and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited. 

  2. Any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.

  3. Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from implementing compulsory service for public purposes.

  4. By implementing such service, the State shall not discriminate on grounds only of religion, race, caste or class or any of them.

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