Does Prostitution Legal in India
However, the legalization of sex work could change all that. This could open the doors to the legal protection of sex workers from sexual harassment. According to the CS`s instructions, the police must take sex workers` complaints seriously. The insensitivity with which the police generally approach sex workers` complaints as “normal work outcomes” would no longer be acceptable. Our country already has a law against harassment in the workplace that recognizes all forms of stress – physical, emotional, sexual – and prevents a woman from doing her job as a criminal offence. With the latest instructions from the SC, any sex worker who is a victim of sexual assault will receive the same services as any other survivor of sexual assault, including immediate medical assistance. In addition, recognition as a profession could also contribute to improving the poor state of health facilities and the resulting vulnerabilities for sex workers. In the near future, medical services and many other benefits enjoyed by workers in our country could also become a reality. By the way, although sex work is not illegal in India, the existing legal provisions make it difficult for any sex worker or prostitute to practice it, and they can even be reserved for solicitation. As with other socially taboo professions, there is a gray area and ambiguity when you get involved. In India, he took the path of devotion. In ancient times, there was the Devadasi system, in which it was a widespread practice among Hindus to give their female child for the purpose of dancing in temples and worshipping God.
However, with the decline of feudalism, these so-called Devadasis lost their protectors and were mistreated by the priests of the temple. It was the first form of prostitution. This practice continued to flourish in British times, when these foreigners curbed the traditional textile industry, weapons, etc. And these communities had to turn to prostitution to make a living. The abolition of prostitution is a gigantic task because it is an ancient practice that has existed for too long. Although it has been described as illegal, it is still ongoing. This could be due to a lack of enforcement or the inability to restrict this practice. To combat this problem, the legalization of prostitution could be adopted, as abolition seems to be a daydream. Rishikant, a long-time activist with Shakti Vahini, a non-governmental organization working to combat human trafficking, told The Diplomat that “clarity or transparency is needed when it comes to sex work and sex trafficking. For a woman who is forced into prostitution and has no place to express herself, where is the question of consent? The Indian Penal Code of 1860 punishes child prostitution by imposing ten years in prison or a fine on a person convicted of buying or selling children for the purpose of prostitution. Now the situation is such that the above activities are very real and exist on the side.
So, does the Indian legal system make prostitution illegal by banning it? Because in most cases, government officials tend to ignore this fact that illegal trafficking in women and children is the main cause of growing prostitution as a business. It should be noted that sex work or prostitution is not illegal in India, but trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation is a criminal offence under Indian law. Sex work as an organized trade that involves procuring, recruiting, exploiting and renting property for sex work is punishable under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (ITPA). In some parts of Bengal, the chukri system is also widespread, in which a woman is forced into prostitution to pay off her debts, as a form of debt bondage. In this system, the prostitute usually works for a year or more without pay to repay an alleged debt to the brothel owner for food, clothing, makeup, and living expenses. In India, the “central government-sponsored program” provides financial or in-kind benefits to laid-off servants and their family members, the report said, adding that more than 2,850,000 people have benefited so far. Nearly 5,000 prosecutions have been registered under the Abolition of bonded labour act 1976. Surveys show that about 1.2 million children engage in prostitution.  With a lot of hype surrounding the court`s recent decision, activists fighting human trafficking for sexual exploitation made it clear that the court`s decision did not legalize the “meat trade” in brothels. It aims to protect sex workers (prostitutes) and not those who live or profit from sex trafficking, such as brothel owners and human traffickers, who can be prosecuted. There are about 15 countries in the world that have varying degrees of regulation related to sex work, mainly legalizing and ensuring the protection of sex workers. Countries such as New Zealand, Denmark, Germany and Greece have taken very gradual measures on sex work, ensuring that workers` health and financial situation are taken into account.
Despite regulations and prohibitions, it is imperative to recognize that prostitution exists as a promising industry, especially in situations of poverty and social inequality. In India, it is far from extinct. However, the problem is not in the work itself. It lies in the way work is perceived. The law is vague on prostitution itself.  The primary law dealing with the status of sex workers is the Immoral Trafficking (Suppression) Act of 1956 (SITA). According to this law, prostitutes can practice their profession in private, but not legally advertise to clients in public.  However, a BBC article mentions that prostitution is illegal in India; Indian law does not qualify the practice of selling one`s own sexual service as “prostitution”.
 Clients may be punished for sexual activity in the vicinity of a public place.