Activists are divided over the decriminalization of sex trafficking. While some argue that legal sanctions and the lifting of restrictions will open the floodgates to the exploitation of vulnerable women and children, others argue that legalizing sex trafficking will give sex workers dignity and human rights. However, legalizing sex work could change that. It could pave the way for legal protection of sex workers against sexual harassment. According to the Supreme Court`s instructions, the police must take complaints from sex workers seriously. The callousness with which police generally treat sex workers` complaints as “normal job results” would no longer be acceptable. Our country already has workplace harassment legislation that recognizes any form of stress – physical, emotional, sexual – that prevents a woman from doing her job as a criminal offence. With the latest instructions from the Supreme Court, any sex worker who is sexually assaulted will receive the same services as any other survivor of sexual assault, including immediate medical care. In addition, recognition as a profession could also help improve the poor state of health facilities and the resulting vulnerabilities of sex workers.
In the near future, medical services and many other benefits enjoyed by workers in our country could also become a reality. Amod Kanth, founding secretary general of Prayas JAC, questioned the Supreme Court`s logic, saying India will experience a new era in which the Supreme Court recognizes sex work as a “profession.” Some countries choose to ban the practice altogether, while others have attempted to regulate prostitution and provide health and social services to sex workers. Women and girls from China, Arab countries, Japan, former Soviet republics, Sri Lanka, and other countries of origin work as prostitutes in India. In 2015, ten Thai women were arrested in India for prostitution for allegedly running two brothels posing as massage parlors.  The Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act or ITPA, also known as the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA), is a 1986 amendment passed in 1956 following India`s signing of the United Nations Declaration on Action against Human Trafficking in 1950.  The Act, then known as the All India Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act (SITA), was amended to become the current Act. These laws were designed as a means to restrict and eventually abolish prostitution in India by gradually criminalizing various aspects of sex work. PITA`s main points are: According to child protection standards, brothels are not a safe place for a child in need of care and protection.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when brothels were closed, there were several cases of underage children being pimped for sex work. The police, judiciary and legal personnel also contribute to the fact that sex workers are seen as perpetrators of crimes rather than being at the end of it.