Sex workers in India are gaining major rights to practice their profession as the Supreme Court issued directions to ensure that every worker gets the dignity they are entitled to have.
“Sex workers are entitled to equal protection of the law,” as stated by the three-judge Bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao. “It need not be gainsaid that notwithstanding the profession, every individual in this country has the right to a dignified life under Article 21 of the Constitution.”
The ruling states that the police must refrain from interfering or taking criminal action against consenting sex workers. As voluntary sex work is not illegal, the workers are not to be arrested, penalized, harassed, or victimized when raids occur in brothels. If a minor is found living with sex workers, it shouldn’t be presumed that the child was trafficked. In fact, mother and child should not be separated because of the parent’s profession. “Basic protection of human decency and dignity extends to sex workers and their children.” Also, sex workers who are victims of sexual assault are entitled to medico-legal care as the police should not discriminate against them when they lodge a complaint, especially if it’s of sexual nature.