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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightSex work not illegal;...

Sex work not illegal; workers shouldn't be penalised/harassed: SC

Sex work not illegal; workers shouldnt be penalised/harassed: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court made a landmark ruling, saying that sex work is not illegal and police should neither interfere nor take criminal action against consenting sex workers. The top court observed that prostitution is a profession, and sex workers deserve dignity and equal protection under the law, India Today reported.

The three-judge bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao ruled that sex workers should not be arrested, penalised, harassed or victimised in raids since voluntary sex work is not illegal while running brothels are. Police must not make the use of condoms as evidence of an offence against sex workers.

The court said that the child of a sex worker must not be separated from its mother just because she is in the sex trade. The court also noted that if a minor is found living in along with sex workers, it should not be presumed that the child was trafficked.

Police should not discriminate against sex workers when they file complaints, especially when the offence committed against them is sexual. Sex workers who become victims of sexual assault must be provided with required facilities such as medical and legal attention.

The court said that it came to its notice that the police's attitude towards these workers was brutal, and they are a class whose rights are not recognised. The court urged law enforcement authorities to take a sensitive approach in their cases.

Further, the court ruled that the media must take every care to not reveal the identities of sex workers during arrest, raid and rescue operations, neither as victims nor as accused, publishing-related visuals.

Authorities must not force them to stay in correction/shelter homes against their will.

In the end, the court sought the Centre's response to these recommendations by July 27.

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TAGS:Sex workers Supreme Court Police 
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