Amendments to ITPA Act detrimental to sex workers

Alleging that the amendments proposed to the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA) will affect sex workers adversely; rights activists have expressed strong opposition on Monday to the proposal.

“Any framework that criminalises consenting adult sex work by terming it violent and exploitative will drive the practice underground, making sex workers more vulnerable to violence and lack of legal remedy,” said Women Rights Activists while addressing a press conference.

The ministry of women and child, which has introduced the amendments to the act, is aiming to bring the laws on par with UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime which India has signed. Penalising demand for sex has been at the heart of the amendments which signifies a radical shift from the existing ITPA provisions.

Besides criminalising clients, the amendments also suggest rehabilitation of sex workers by sending them to protective homes.  “Penalisation of clients is a formulation that will endanger sex workers instead of protecting them from sexual exploitation,” said Senior Supreme Court Advocate Anand Grover.

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