In India, prostitution is not illegal per se but is curbed by various restrictions that more or less make it illegal. So, while selling your body for sex in your or a client’s private quarters is legal, sexual activity “in proximity to a public place” is punishable. Organized prostitution, like brothels, is illegal. It is illegal to solicit customers “in public”. Of course, gay prostitution is illegal simply because gay sex is illegal. Sex workers are charged with vague crimes like ‘public indecency’ or ‘public nuisance’.
Prostitutes are the most convenient victims of sexual and violent crimes. When their profession is illegal they can’t ask authorities for help. So many serial killers started off with killing prostitutes because they’re just easy targets. Think of the crimes we could prevent if prostitutes could turn to authorities for help. Plus, once legalized, they won’t have to depend on harsh pimps to keep them safe. Research shows that most pimps are like slave drivers and once in their grips, it is hard for the women to break free.
When something like prostitution is illegal, then there grow underground networks that are almost impenetrable for authorities and the layman. Every year, human trafficking numbers grow higher and there seems to be no way to stop that. If prostitution was legalized, then it would be hard for criminals to keep these underground networks from the authorities. It would be easier for people to approach the police with whatever information they had if they didn’t have to worry about what explanation they’d have to give.
Again, due to the illegality and therefore the secrecy maintained around prostitution, it is very hard for prostitutes to maintain sexually healthy lifestyles. Any development in this quarter has come via NGOs or the prostitutes themselves. There needs to be STD awareness, availability of condoms and availability of medical resources to help curb the STD growth rate.
Prostitution is not called the world’s oldest profession for nothing. It has been around from time immemorial. As long as people are willing to sell and people are willing to buy, this exchange will always continue. Those who oppose legalizing prostitution overlook this simple fact. It is nearly impossible to stamp prostitution out, therefore, we need to legalize it and make sure that those involved in this line do not become victims to the system.
The fact is that once you’re a prostitute, there’s really no other job open for you. People have associated shame with the profession that caters to the most basic human demand. Additionally, once youth and beauty start to fade, life for prostitutes becomes very uncertain and even more dangerous. With more social acceptance, hopefully, those who wish to get out of this profession will be able to get jobs in other fields without the stigma constantly following them.
Prostitutes are often doubly victimized in the current situation. They are used and abused by their pimps and customers and then used and abused a second time by police and politicians’ goons. They have heartbreaking tales of being used roughly by those in power for free, and there is nothing they can do about it. Not only will legalizing save them from suffering in silence, it will also give those policemen who aren’t ethically corrupt, added time to deal with more serious crimes.
A certain amount of the state’s resources are spent each year in trying to curb prostitution with no to very little success. Police officers’ and government officials’ time, public tax money and other public resources are needlessly wasted in harassing, arresting, or detaining sex workers. And there has been no long term impact of this activity. It would be better to legalize prostitution and bring sex workers under labor laws.
Children of sex workers generally grow up to be involved in prostitution in one way or the other. You can blame it on the fact that they are prostitutes’ kids but part of the problem is the system. There aren’t many options open for such children. With more social acceptance, a world of options might open up to them. Additionally, so many children are trafficked and end up in murky prostitution rings. Legalizing would help to curb such rings and the lives of many children could be saved.
In India, most places have a higher male population than female population. With most Indian societies disapproving of premarital sex or even unattached sex, sex becomes a dirty little obsession for many people. Most Indian women are molested and it is usually by men known to them, their cousins, uncles, family friends, etc. Despite this truth, it is somehow considered more shameful for a man to go visit a sex worker. With legalization, hopefully men will feel less embarrassed about scratching a biological itch and therefore, they’ll be less desperate.