Recognition Of Sex Work As a Profession : Supreme Court
The Supreme Court, in a significant order has recognised sex work as a “profession” whose practitioners are entitled to dignity and equal protection under law.
- The Supreme Court has directed that police should neither interfere nor take criminal action against adult and consenting sex workers.
- Notwithstanding the profession, every individual in this country has a right to a dignified life under Article 21 of the Constitution.
- The Bench ordered that sex workers should not be “arrested or penalised or harassed or victimised” whenever there is a raid on any brothel, “since voluntary sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful”.
- A child of a sex worker should not be separated from the mother merely on the ground that she is in the sex trade.
- Further, if a minor is found living in a brothel or with sex workers, it should not be presumed that the child was trafficked.
- Sex workers who are victims of sexual assault should be provided every facility including immediate medico-legal care, a three-judge Bench directed in an order which was passed after invoking special powers under Article 142 of Constitution.