Part II describes the history of prostitution in India and shows how the skeletons of morality were reconstructed during colonial rule. It also discusses the lack of strong evidence that prostitute women were treated in the same deplorable way in ancient India as they are today. In Part III, we explore the legal landscape in India concerning prostitution and describe how, even though prostitution is not illegal per se, the associated legislative and enforcement apparatus in India has, in effect, rendered it criminal activity in the eyes of the law. Part IV discusses the forms and players involved in exploitation, violence, and harassment directed at sex workers. This behavior is the very tendency that our proposal seeks to suppress. Part V forms the main body of the paper where we systematically argue in favor of decriminalizing prostitution, drawing our responses from (a) feminist theories, (b) contract theory and economic rationales, (c) social norms perspective, (d) public health view, and (e) game theoretic analysis. The discussion in Part VI helps identify the mistaken importance given to viewing prostitution as an institution. We contend that one of the reasons why prostitution is criminalized, and, therefore, why it is viewed in such an unfavorable light, is because of an illogical obsession with institutionalizing the practice of prostitution, which, in reality, is an extremely heterogeneous practice. Shedding the institutional view of prostitution is important to appreciate the value of freedom and agency that decriminalization of prostitution is expected to bring. Part VII offers our conclusions.
Goyal, Yugank and Ramanujam, Padmanabha
"Ill-Conceived Laws and Exploitative State: Toward Decriminalizing Prostitution in India,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 47:
4, Article 7.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol47/iss4/7