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Legalise prostitution, NCW to ask SC

The proposal for legalising prostitution in India will be placed before the Supreme Court constituted panel Nov 8, National Commission for Women (NCW) chief Lalitha Kumaramangalam said Wednesday.

“The proposal for legalising prostitution will be put forth in the National Consultation scheduled to be held on Nov 8 by Supreme Court panel...,” Kumaramangalam said in a statement.

The apex court had constituted the panel after a public interest litigation was filed 2010 on rehabilitation of sex workers. In its order dated Aug 24, 2011, the court had directed NCW to attend the panel’s meetings.

“The panel has to make certain recommendations for the possible amendments in Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA) in the light of conditions conducive for sex workers to live with dignity in accordance with the provision of article 21 of the constitution,” added the statement.

The Supreme Court-constituted panel would deliberate on the existing provisions of ITPA, loopholes, implementation of the law and the impact of such implementation on the sex workers and their lives.

Kumaramangalam meanwhile denied media reports that she was planning to put forward the proposal of legalising prostitution at the cabinet meet.

However, activists expressed concern and discontentment over the NCW’s proposal.

“Legalisation of prostitution goes against the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) definition of ‘decent work’ and is considered as selling sex under distress. Instead of criminalising the buying and selling of sex, we are giving more power to those who exploit sex workers and treat them as commodities that can be sold in a market,” Ranjana Kumari, director, Centre for Social Research said in a statement.

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