The Problem

Prostitution in India
7 million women in prostitution live in India

An estimated 7 million women in prostitution live in India and are frequently subjected to exploitation, slavery and abuse. As a result of deteriorating conditions in poor communities in India and neighboring countries, human trafficking thrives. 200 women and children enter the trade per day, of which 80% enter against their will. In the city of Mumbai alone, there are an estimated 100,000 women in prostitution and approximately 20% of them are under the age of 18. The prevalence of both organized and informal forms of prostitution is increasing and includes child prostitution, transgender and male prostitution, human trafficking and bonded slavery. Women in prostitution are exposed to various forms of abuse and societal disapproval and have a high likelihood of contracting fatal sexually

Prostitution and the Law

Organized prostitution is illegal in India. However, the voluntary sale of one’s own sexual act by an adult to a customer in private premises is not illegal and hence not punishable under Indian law. Technically, the law does not allow anyone to take advantage of the helplessness and vulnerability of a person and accordingly makes brothel keeping, procuring persons for prostitution, living on the earning of another person’s prostitution and giving one’s premises for the business of prostitution illegal. However, the issue of “free will” and voluntary submission is subject to scrutiny.