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Women in sex trade enjoy an equal right to protection: SC Panel


New Delhi: A Supreme Court panel has reportedly said that police must not interfere or take criminal action against adult sex workers “participating with consent.”

The Supreme Court panel is looking for measures to ensure better work conditions for prostitutes and protect their rights.

A panel member was quoted as saying. “Whenever there is a raid on a brothel, since voluntary sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful, the sex workers should not be arrested or penalised or harassed or victimised.”

They also suggested amendment to the imprisonment clauses and said no action should be taken against a sex worker’s family unless it’s proven that they forced her into the trade.

Under Section 8 of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA), 1956, in which sex workers cannot solicit or seduce and the same is punishable with six months’ jail and a fine of Rs 500. But the panel recommended deleting the offence of “soliciting.”

Prostitution is considered illegal in public places. The panel’s report is set up in 2011, and its report will be submitted in March.

The panel, headed by senior, advocate Pradip Ghosh, has the suggested the measures for to rehabilitate sex workers who wish to leave prostitution so that they can live with dignity.

According to the study it is estimated that at least 1.2 million prostitutes are forced into the trade by poverty.

It also suggests amending the law which has a provision of jail upto 10 years for persons above 18 living on the earnings of prostitution.

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