SC panel says consenting sex workers should not face criminal action

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Supreme Court panel said that adults “participating with consent” in prostitution should not face criminal action or interference by the police, according to reports.“Whenever there is a raid on a brothel, since voluntary sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful, the sex workers should not be arrested or penalised or harassed or victimised,” a panel member was quoted as saying.

The panel recommended deleting the offence of “soliciting” Under Section 8 of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA), 1956, in which sex workers cannot solicit or seduce and the same is punishable with six months’ jail and a fine of Rs 500. It was set up in 2011 and is likely to submit its report next month.

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