Review of Laws and Legislative Measures Affecting Women
by National Commission for Women (NCW)
No. 3: The Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956
Suggested Amendments by NCW
The word 'person' used in the Act for the purpose of punishment, should be
substituted with the words 'man and woman' because the women in prostitution
only are punished and the man who play an important role in he process goes
In place of the words 'commercial sex worker' the word 'prostitute' should
continue to be sued.
The names of the women in red-light areas should be included in the voters'
A group insurance scheme should be introduced for the women in red light areas.
There should be a provision in the Act to distinguish the girls who are thrown
forcibly into the prostitution through an act of rape and intimidation and the
punishment should be made more stringent for the person responsible. Very often
such girls are rescued only after their prolonged stay in the brothels and it
is not possible to point out who was the first client although the first client
is invariably committing rape on her. In case of such girls, the Brother owner,
pimps and touts should be charged as abettors and onus of the proof should be
on them that ;they have not abetted/forced the girl/woman to enter into
prostitution through the act of rape.
The law enforcement machinery should also be made more effective to save those
girls in time who are likely to be forced into prostitution.
As per the recent figures of crimes recorded by Delhi Police, of all the
persons arrested under different provision of the Act nearly 85 to 95 % accused
were women. This clearly brings out the fact that the present law is not very
effective in stopping prostitution because the men involved in promoting
prostitution are mostly not considered guilty. It is especially surprising to
note that there are many more women arrested for being pimps and touts.
It is also necessary to bring out suitable amendment in the Act to punish the
customer who visits the red light areas for having sex at a commercial price.
Provision should be made to provide Free Education to the women in prostitution
under various non-formal/adult education scheme.
Schemes for vocational training should be available to the women in
prostitution so that they can earn their livelihood by other means if they
decide to come out of the flesh trade.
There should be a specific provision that police personnel/related department
should render help and support to the NGOs and communities who are working for
the welfare of the women in prostitution.
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