Direct link to scholarships offered by  Govt. of India

List of Private NGOs offering scholarships

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr: ‘Avenzoar’

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr, known in the west as Avenzoar, was

Ummid Assistant

AMU declares entrance test dates for its UPSC coaching centre

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Life & Style

Please don't legalise prostitution, say victims

Thursday April 07, 2011 03:34:02 PM, Azera Rahman, IANS

Related Articles

'Punish clients, not sex trafficking victims'

Fatima Nat Dhuniya was all of 9 years when she was "married off" and then landed in the world of sex trade. More than a decade later, she stands confident as a community mobiliser and said that the laws in the country should change so that the client is punished and not the victim.  »

New Delhi: Twenty-year-old Noor was just 10 when she was sold off to a brothel owner and forced into sex trade in West Bengal. She was rescued by activists a decade later and went on to become a vociferous community mobiliser. Noor says prostitution should not be legalised.

"Prostitution is a vicious world. If a woman gets trapped, it sucks the life out of her. Only traffickers and pimps profit from it. Legalising prostitution will not empower women," Noor told IANS when she was here for a conference.

She said when a girl first enters the brothel, she is called a 'chukri' or a trainee prostitute, offered a roof and two meals a day but her earnings are kept with the brothel owner.

Even if she is given the permission to go after a year or so, she is not given the money. So she returns.

As age progresses and her clients wear down, she becomes an 'adhya', meaning half. She is given half her earnings but has to pay for her bed and food. She stays on until a miserable end.

Fatima Nat Dhuniya, another survivor of the sex trade, said instead of legalising prostitution, what is actually needed is an amendment in the law so that clients and not the victims are held accountable.

"All organisations and individuals who say that prostitution should be legalised have not lived our lives. If you really want to help us, change the law so that next time the policeman does not harass the woman and punishes the client instead," Dhuniya told IANS.

"If there is no customer, the shop will close," she added.

Dhuniya said she was married off at the age of nine. She kept going back home to be with her friends and play with them, but she was always sent back.

"I found it strange that my mother-in-law used to keep five girls in the house who served clients. I was exploited and beaten up by my husband," she said.

"Then I met a woman from an NGO who said it was really on me if I wanted to fight my way out of the mess. I started speaking to the girls and found that they were bought for a price and had to serve clients. But the money remained with my mother-in-law," she added.

With great difficulty and even greater courage, she told her parents - who had no idea about the situation - and left the house. Later she helped the girls escape.

Today she works as a community mobiliser who helps the daughters of sex workers study, so they are not forced to go the same way.

According to Sheila Jeffreys, feminist scholar and political activist from Australia where prostitution is legalised, it has not helped combat illegal sex trade.

"Legalisation of prostitution in Australia has not helped in combating the illegal industry, nor has it helped in overall betterment of women," said Jeffreys, who has authored the book "The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade".

"Eighty percent of the brothels in a state for instance are illegal and organised crime thrives in these illegal brothels," she added.

Suggesting instead to make a law or amend the law that criminalises the client and not the victim, Ruchira Gupta of Apne Aap, an NGO that works for the upliftment of women who have been victims of sex trafficking, said: "Maybe we can take the lead from Korea."

"South Korea has passed a law that punishes buyers. In the Philippines too, more and more people - which includes a lot of men - are moving the senate, taking up the issue of prostitution and how victims should not be victimised. So we can follow them and amend our law, the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, so that the victim is not punished," Gupta told IANS.

Gupta, who organised a conference of survivors and members of civil society from at least 11 countries in the capital this week, also released a list of 10 reasons why prostitution should not be legalised.

"Legalisation of prostitution promotes sex trafficking, increases child prostitution and does not protect women in prostitution. It increases the demand for prostitution and thereby boosts the motivation of men to buy women for sex in a much wider setting," said the list, endorsed by several activists and survivors.

"And women in systems of prostitution do not want the sex industry legalised or decriminalised," she added.

Those in support of decriminalisation of prostitution say it will control the sex industry, will promote women's health and give them the power to stop being exploited by removing the menace of middlemen.

Quoting the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Apne Aap said there are 1.2 million prostituted children in India, of which girls form the majority.

(Azera Rahman can be contacted at



  Bookmark and Share                                          Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS




Top Stories

Hazare's fast enters day 3; Sibal holds talks to break impasse

Social reformer Anna Hazare's fast for a more stringent anti-corruption law entered the third day Thursday with a groundswell of support from all sections of society as the  »

 Lokpal Bill: Social activists vs government

Pawar quits anti-graft panel after Hazare jibe


  Most Read

Manmohan Singh's Pakistan trip being worked out: Nirupama Rao

Details of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Pakistan are being worked out, though no date has been set, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao »

Aamir Khan writes to PM in support of Anna Hazare

Film star Aamir Khan Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to pay "heed to the voice of Anna Hazare", who has started a fast against corruption. "I am merely one of many who  »

 Supporters prevent politicians from meeting Anna Hazare


  News Pick

A.R. Rahman launches his biography

Music maestro A.R. Rahman got a little nostalgic remembering his old days, during the launch of his biography "A.R. Rahman: The Spirit of Music" in Mumbai  »

K.L. Saigal, a musician of the masses

Six Indian-Americans in Forbes Midas 100

Six Indian-Americans figure in The Midas 100, Forbes' list of venture capitalists who bucked the trends of shrinking firms and declining returns to "create wealth and fund the new ideas that keep US economy vibrant."  »

Goa home minister's sons draw salaries as personal aides

For Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik, work perhaps begins at 'home' -- his two sons draw salaries as his personal aides. A written reply by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat to the Goa assembly Wednesday lists Ritesh and Roy  »

Punjab to do away with convocation gowns

Terming it as a reflection of the "colonial symbol of slavery", the Punjab government Wednesday announced that it would do away with ceremonial gowns worn during convocation functions of colleges, institutes and  »

Congress, BJP in slanging match in Assam

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Wednesday lashed out at the Congress government in Assam for its "corruption ridden misrule", while the ruling party hit back saying the state did not  »


Picture of the Day

A sand art creation to congratulate Team India for winning the CWC 2011 final, in Puri.

(Photo: PTI)



RSS  |  Contact us

| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes











Contact us





      Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.