Sex workers to get shoulder to cry on
THERE WILL now be a body that is exclusively devoted to listening to the complaints of sex workers, redressing their grievances and investigating cases regarding them.india Updated: Jan 17, 2006 11:53 IST
THERE WILL now be a body that is exclusively devoted to listening to the complaints of sex workers, redressing their grievances and investigating cases regarding them.
The Centre has decided to constitute a nodal authority at the central level to effectively prevent and combat human trafficking. “The state governments can also constitute similar bodies to check trafficking,” a senior government official said.
All children below 18 will be considered children
Soliciting will no longer be an offence
Magistrate won’t have power to remove sex worker from civic limit of area where she resides or works
Trafficking will invite 7 years imprisonment (first offence) or life (second offence)
Client of victim of trafficking can be jailed for 3 months or fined Rs 20,000 or both
According to officials of the department for women and child in the human resources development ministry, a provision has been made in the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2005 for the constitution of such an authority. “The Act is being amended to give sex workers more respectable lives,” said Lovleen Kacker, joint secretary in the department.
The authority — to be headed by a chairperson — is expected to have police officers from different state cadres. “The authority will have the power to take suo moto cognisance of any offence committed under the Immortal Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956,” an official said.
Unlike other authorities, this body will also have the power to investigate cases. “The police normally say they don’t take up cases of sex workers because of a huge workload of law and order problems.
That’s why we plan to give the authority the power to investigate cases and for that purpose, we propose to depute police officers,” said a senior official.
The official added that framing of rules would take some time. Reason: Cabinet had earlier this month approved the controversial Bill and it would now have to be placed before Parliament. Once that’s done, the rules would be framed.
The government will also consider the suggestion of a GoM on the issue, that cases related to sex workers should be handled by women police officers, wherever and whenever possible.
Many sex workers had opposed several sections being proposed in the Bill and had stated that it would harm their business interests. A section on penalising the client had drawn the most flak with the sex workers saying it was a way to completely kill the profession.
First Published: Jan 17, 2006 11:53 IST