International Sex Workers’ Day: Supreme Court Of India’s Order Protecting Sex Workers Explained

This was a historic order by the SC!
supreme court law protects sex workers

After the Alia Bhatt starrer, Gangubai Kathiawadi released in 2022, there was a serious conversation around the rights and protection of sex workers in our country. Sex workers are often looked down upon in our society because it is assumed that they make people indulge in carnal sins and that makes them “characterless” because the work they do has no dignity. Often the circumstances under which these sex workers are brought in go unnoticed and to shame them for doing something they were sold to do reflects shamelessness on society’s part. June 2 is marked as International Day Sex Workers’ Day, and on this day we need to talk about the laws that protect them in our country.


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What did the Supreme Court Of India say about sex workers?

A historic order was passed on May 19, 2022, by the Supreme Court wherein a bench consisting of Justice of L Nageswara Rao, Justice BR Gavai, and Justice AS Bopanna said that sex workers have a right to dignity, and they need to be treated decently. They also said that they are provided protection under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution just like people from other professions are.


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No arresting voluntary working sex workers

Elaborating on the security and protection of sex workers, the bench said that voluntary sex work is not unlawful but only running a brothel is, hence, if there is a police raid on any, the sex workers should not be arrested or harassed by the police. The police also have been told to not interfere once they establish that the sex worker is working voluntarily and has given her consent.


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Providing equal rights to file a complaint to sex workers, the SC also said that if one woman comes forward to file a complaint, she has to be treated like a complainant and not the offender. The bench also provided protection to prostitutes by saying that if they are sexually assaulted, they need to be provided medical assistance and facilities of that of a sexual assault survivor.

Also read: Alia Bhatt’s Signature ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ Avatar Turned Inspiration For This Malaysian Fashion Show

It is important that you be aware of these orders issued by the Supreme Court in favour of sex workers so that you can be of help to one if they are in distress.

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Kinjal Panchal

Kinjal is an avid reader who drools over fictional men but is a hardcore realist. Don’t do anything to make her give you the ‘bombastic side eye’!

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