Where is the National Commission of Women that was so critical of Somnath Bharti's raid in Khirki? The women supposedly assaulted in the raid, whom they were so concerned about who filed a complaint over being mistreated by the crowd have filed a far graver complaint. That of being entrapped and exploited for prostitution. Harish Salve, their humanitarian protector has vanished. Because of course, giving urine samples is an atrocity. Entrapping women in a foreign country and forcing them into prostitution cannot really be called abuse. Hain na?
The NCW, that had time to comment on Kejriwal's protests causing inconvenience and being "childish" are now so busy with the Birbhum Gang Rape, that the Ugandan women under their magnanimous protection complaining of such a grave crime against them has gone unnoticed. The Ministry of External Affairs, so determined to fight for the rights of those women assaulted by government representatives no longer think it relevant to their office if officials from the Ugandan High Commission in Delhi are being accused of running a prostitution racket - which is probably a polite way of saying human trafficking for prostitution, if the women's passports were taken away and they were left with little choice but to prostitute themselves to survive.
I have said this before, and I am saying it again. The Women's Commissions are useless bodies eating public funds and serving their political masters rather than actively working for women. Women with strong motivations to shield people on one side of the political spectrum, or those they deem should be shielded have no business being responsible for the rights of all women regardless of who harms them.
How is it that there is no serious action after allegation of collusion between High Commission officials and Delhi Police in running prostitution and drug trafficking cartels? It is still understandable that this cronyism means that Somnath Bharti's complaints must be ignored, by order or some such nonsense, but what about the women who have filed complaints? Are they going to make news as victims and left to service Delhi's elites again, or is the NCW going to eventually get around to rescuing them and sending them home safely?
The real question here is why the plight of the Ugandan women was known to workers of the Aam Aadmi Party, who supposedly assaulted them, instead of the National Women's Commission? Where was their lawyer? Sannata. Media is engrossed in picking lint from their collective navel. Same media that hounded Tarun Tejpal over allegations of what was, until recently sexual harassment. Same media that found the compassion in them to "sensitively" report the lives of the Delhi Gang Rape accused, interview parents claiming innocence, wife pleading for mercy for husband find it outrageous that Tejpal or anyone affiliated with him can claim his innocence. But it isn't outrageous if police and High Commission officials engaging in trafficking.
On a side note, notice the lack of media outrage. Apparently the "crime" of "accosting" those women in the presence of women constables and forcing them to undergo tests in a hospital is larger than the crime of taking away their passports and forcing them into a life of prostitution.
National Commission for Women is now seeking an extension of tenure from 3 years to 5 years for queen bee Mamta Sharma, more funds to do more for women, and "punitive powers" over governments for not complying with their recommendations. It is ironic that the party that laughed at the idea of a Lokpal with power over CMs hold the strings of these jokers demanding this. The only reason this isn't unconstitutional while the Lokpal supposedly was is that the punishments aren't likely to do any real damage to the profiteering politicians.
In the meanwhile, no one really has any idea what the National Commission for Women does at all, in a country with rapidly deteriorating rights of women, rising crime against them, and exactly zero efforts to get any public messages out. There are no serious efforts of any sort to bring accountability to public figures making derogatory comments about women. The utter casualness of the correspondence revealed through RTI between this Mamta Sharma and the Prime Minister after Jaiswal said while addressing a women's college "As time passes, the joy of the victory fades, just like a wife". It verged on the "be careful" and "ok" with no serious actions seeked.
On the contrary, Nirmala Vyankatesh was fired after blaming the Manglore pub attack victims. Alka Lamba leaked the name of the victim of the Guwahati Gang rape. Mamta Sharma, who is currently asking for her tenure to be increased from 3 years to 5 years advocated women dress properly to prevent rape. Not only have her own actions been beyond casual in the face of the gravity of crimes that come to her attention, she failed to keep others in the commission sensitive to victims of those crimes. Now they want more tenure, more money, more power to punish governments it seems. Kaha kaha se chale aate hain.
Why should this joker earn any more payment on public salary? What has she done that India deserves to be inflicted with a leech like this?
I predict it will be two days before media starts to cover the "lavish lifestyles" of foreign prostitutes or something rather than report the serious developments that embarrass the central government and their precious Delhi Police that are part of Delhi's crime problem. One week later, the debate will turn to how they weren't doing it unwillingly, and it is wrong to risk international row over human trafficking unless their name is Khobragade.
The story, as many media superhits are, is polarized. On one hand, you have residents of the area, the Aam Aadmi Party and Somnath Bharti who see nothing wrong in the raid. On the other, you have the police, Central government and media seeing the raid as "taking law into own hands" by the law minister.
What else is happening?
Residents see the Nigerian (and other black foreigners) prostitution and drug running as a problem. They had complained to police without any results. Aam Aadmi Party took up their concern. The question here is Aam Aadmi Party's thought process. AAP's Yogendra Yadav admitted in an interview, that they could have handled this better. They should have put the evidence they had in front of the public before taking action. However, they stand by Somnath Bharti in insisting that the raid may not have been justified well, but it is correct.
This is meaningless talk, because the whole idea of accountability is being able to justify actions taken on behalf of people. If there is a claim that the action is correct, regardless, then it isn't all that different from other parties taking law into their own hands.
In this regard, Aam Aadmi Party reminds me of Shiv Sena. There is no inherent ideology beyond "Whatever people say" and there is a preference for action if a wrong is perceived (witness the toll booth vandalisms). It could be argued that with entrenched corruption in Maharashtra, the profiteering toll booths were never going to be addressed by constitutional channels, and the vandalism forced the matter to people's attention.
The Aam Aadmi Party does risk getting embroiled in politics of this sort, if they persist in actions that bypass established methods of dealing with people's problems. Perhaps these methods need to be bypassed. For example, the police not taking an interest in the well being of Delhi People does seem sinister when we note that the incidence of crime is higher among politicians than the general population, and you have the Central Home Ministry handling security for Delhi. It is unclear why someone from Maharashtra with the police force at his disposal would experience the security of Delhi streets as a priority. And it shows in the rising crime. Delhi has the most cops per square kilometer than anywhere else in the country and crime thrives here.
At the same time, people's perceptions cannot be considered proof of anything. While I have no doubt that Africans do participate in drug and prostitution in Delhi, I find it difficult to believe that they are the only players or that all of them are into illegal business. The idea that a mob can form a conclusion about the character of women and take suo moto action against them is alarming. It is even more alarming when it gets legitimacy by being led by an elected representative of people. So here you have a well defended precedent of a civilian mob entering a home where women stay at night, believing their actions to be wrong. This mob then forces them to go to a hospital to be tested. Will Somnath Bharti take responsibility for such mobs following in his footsteps whenever they perceive women acting in a wrong manner? Who is responsible for making and defending such a civilian action against women, and is it worth it to find evidence of prostitution or drug trade, which can be done in a hundred other ways?
If you have Nigerians infesting malls to solicit clients for prostitution, it shouldn't be rocket science to use CCTV camera footage as evidence and get courts to force cops to take action - for example. That is what an aam aadmi would do when cops refuse to act on his complaint, right? It shouldn't be too difficult to do sting operations showing drug sales or prostitution - which the residents claim that they have indeed done, by the codename "Black Beauty". Media can be used to release stings like this to force public pressure and action to be taken.
Somnath Bharti is a law minister, it is rather alarming that a mere refusal to act by police sent him so out of legal actions that he had to resort to something like this. It is hardy the first time Aam Aadmi Party's demands for legal action were stonewalled. Usually, the stand is to insist on law and order. Why do a Shiv Sena on this?
An additional question is that of prostitutes. Most women in prostitution are led there by circumtances and court horrendous risks for their safety as well as health. They provide a service that is used by men for their sexual enjoyment and are completely abandoned by the state. They also provide an important service for the many men who are not otherwise able to get sex (or as often as they want). Not everyone is a handsome charmer and not everyone is married. More than that, not every man wants to have a relationship with a woman in order to have sex.
Money for sex is still consent. Will the absence of prostitutes result in increased consensual sex, or will it result in more predatory men taking opportunities how they can? Will the housewifes who breathe a sigh of relief when their husbands let them sleep unmolested at the end of an exhausted day have a better life scratching their "itch"?
Are these really evil people? Would the world be a better place if men who wanted to have sex did not have to pay for it? Because I refuse to believe that acting against prostitution will turn men into celibate beings who only have sex with their wife or with a woman who consents without money being asked.
Where should prostitutes live? If they all should be rehabilitated, does the government have enough jobs available? What efforts have they made that women do not need to prostitute themselves to survive? Or is the outraged modesty and complaint enough reason to chase them to their homes and bring them out? Those alleged prostitutes were most certainly not caught in the mall, right? So what, a prostitute in her home is also a problem for the entire mohalla? And the government thinks this is correct enough for a minister to lead a mob action against other civilians?
Aam Aadmi Party needs to go to the drawing board on this. Is political leadership merely about representing people and reflecting their wishes, or is it also about introducing new ideas that may perhaps be against a popular view, but will help their society evolve?
The perceptions about Nigerians are such an area. The perceptions against prostitution are another such area. As the party grows, there will be many such areas where the public either doesn't have an opinion, or the public opinion is one that harms the right of some people and it cannot be taken up. Public opinion in many parts of India will insist that low caste people should be segregated, so will the Aam Aadmi Party manifesto for that area promise to do it? If Aam Aadmi Party merely uses mob opinion as justification, then that isn't all that different from a Khap Panchayat pointing out the harms of girls using phones and perhaps leading a mob to forcibly restrain girls and take away their phones?
On the other hand, the criticism of Aam Aadmi Party is going off the rails as well. BJP, the kings of mob action having an issue is ironic. Congress, part of the UPA government that controls the police but did not take action against drug trade or prostitution despite resident complaints is hypocritical. Are we saying that residents of an area raising a complaint about illegal actions going on is a matter that should continue to be dismissed? How is it that media has not demanded accountability from Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde over the police blind eye to these complaints?
In my view, the Aam Aadmi Party's actions in the raid were wrong, but their accusations against the police are correct. Their demand that Delhipolice be accountable to Delhi government is also valid. Why should Delhi be secured by a police force that answers to someone from the other end of the country?
The collective sexuality of the nation is still very Victorian, and now moving toward worse Victorian. Moral judgments around sex are such that sex is near dead beyond the instinctive "itch" that gets tittered about by frustrated women or blustered about by equally frustrated men.
I think we need to accept that sex exists, lots of people enjoy it and that it is not all that evil. In the next budget the government could have more alternatives to fleece the population than raising taxes on cigarettes alone. We need a legitimate sex industry. Give people loads of jobs, earn money in taxes, and so on. Win. Win.
Legitimize everything to do with prostitution. Enforce policing against child prostitution and other exploitative practices - you will now have the budget for it as well as legal businesses interested in maintaining legal status.
This means everyone from pimps to brothel owners are legal. Regulate them on how services should be advertized, living standards to be maintained where applicable, consent of sex workers to be paramount.
Enforce police protections for prostitutes. If a person can be arrested for assaulting a prostitute, that goes a far longer way to making lives of prostitutes better and reducing exploitation than hiding prostitutes under some socio-political carpet.
Encourage sex related services beyond prostitution - education services for safe sex, coaching for better sexual skills, etc
Legalize production of porn and sex toys and accessories and adult-only sex shops. Will give jobs to countless people. People buy their sex toys covertly anyway. Make their sale taxable. Let quality control reach an area of intimate use. I dare say many people may move away from prostitution services if they have other interesting things they can do with themselves.
Exit the British Raj, make the country sex-positive.
I came across a blogpost rebutting a comment made on a previous blogpost on legitimizing prostitution, and I found that I disagree strongly enough to write this:
Go read that post first, because this one will be free flowing and not quote that post here. Then you might as well read my reply to a post by Taslima Nasreen that presents an argument similar to this one.
My main issue with debates on prostitution are the seeking of a universal stand on them - to legitimize or ban? I fail to see how in a world with such diversity, it is at all possible to make one rule that applies to all. The "ban prostitution" debate is going the "ban dance bars" debate and risks ruining countless lives through moral superciliousness.
Just to blow the theory that all prostitutes are forced, I know several who work as prostitutes by choice. Personally. Prostitutes actually also have unions and all. But let us assume that each and every prostitute in India is forced. Even then, if you look at the number of women in forced sex in the country, prostitutes wouldn't be the majority. Married women would be. It is no joke that we are the fourth worst country in the world to be a woman in. It is most certainly not limited to prostitutes.
If secure alternatives were available for women seeking divorce, divorce rates would skyrocket. They already are in cities and states where women are socially powerful - like Kerala. That prostitutes are exploited could be turned into a witch hunt of prostitution, but the face is that innocent victims of rape were blamed for inviting the rape just as surely as prostitutes get abused. I differ that society drives women to prostitution. I think it is crippling poverty. Those prostitutes are also wives, mothers. They feed mouths. And we have no alternative employment to offer.
But that is also a secondary thing.
The main thing is personal autonomy. Force to sell sex and force to not sell sex, in my view are equal and opposite evils. For the woman's rights to be upheld, she should have the choice. Will it be always enjoyable? Likely not. Just like each day at office isn't enjoyable to those working in it. To ban prostitution on the basis of that is about as bizarre as banning you from a job because you don't like it. You need money, you have skills, you contract to do a certain job. The reall question here is asked by frighteningly very few people. Who made the choice? It is terrifying about the state of human rights in our country that we have no concept of respecting choice, and even rescues involve moral judgments and imposed regimentation.
A bonded labourer at a construction site is no less exploited than a prostitute forced into sex. The author of the blogpost ought to do a survey with actual prostitutes offering them job as domestic workers or anything else suited to their skill levels in exchange for giving up prostitution. The results would be eye-opening. The fact of the matter is that most prostitutes are doing a job.
There are prostitutes working in good conditions who are not only well to do, but also enjoy the freedom of determining their work timings. On the contrary, many married women cannot escape sex and will get nothing for their efforts at home or in bed.
Does that mean all is well? No. Trafficking exists. It needs stopped. Human rights abuses exist. They need stopped. There needs to be human dignity promoted on all fronts. Be it tribals or prostitutes, farmers or school kids. Pushing prostitutes under a carpet will not fix that. There needs to be solid upholding of human rights in general.
If you uphold fundamental rights impeccably, that is most of what is needed. If your cops beat up a pregnant prostitute till she miscarries and opines that "Sex Workers cannot be mothers", then the fault could be written off as an evil of prostitution, but the fact of the matter is that it is a crime allowed freely in the name of having a problem with prostitution. It is the same with many other things they face trouble with.
Why not address the social illegitimacy they face? Last month, a prostitute fell three floors while escaping with the client when his wife returned home unexpectedly. Few would hire a prostitute for other work anyway. Banning prositution would only turn her into a loose woman who could be forced into "free" [without money] sex. Surely it would help save more prostitutes from forced sex if they could openly say that their previous job was sex work and they are now looking to do something else? Without that, banning prostitution would only lead to starving women.
What happens with the millions of men who use the services of prostitutes, many of whom, according to the author [and all concerned] have very rough sex? What happens when they cannot buy the sexual services they want? Should a gullible innocent become their prey to save someone who does it willingly for money?
If prostitutes are free to choose, and if all were exploited, prostitution would die out anyway. No? So why object to choice? The power to choose own actions when they don't harm another is the most intimate freedom we have. In my view, banning prostitution is about the same violation as forcing prostitution. The person matters. What does she want?
Note: There are also male prostitutes, but since a majority of them are female, this article uses "she", "her", etc
While Taslima Nasreen and I both share a concern for women's rights and I have absolutely no quarrel with sex trafficking or slavery being abolished, we are very different in the solutions we find acceptable on sex work. To me it appears that Taslima sees the sexual traffic/slavery/work scene as a separate thing from women's rights. Her approach to it is everything we fight against when it comes to human rights - the imposition of external morality and restrictions on matters of personal choice.
[Tweet "To equate choice with lack of choice is like as saying sex and rape are same."]
I believe that personal autonomy is a fundamental right and it must be upheld to the highest standards possible. In my eyes, over ruling another person's choices about themselves amounts to human rights abuse.
To equate a situation with choice (prostitution) and a situation without choice (slavery) is like as saying consensual sex and rape are the same thing.
I believe that in any crime, against any gender, age or culture, the first and most damaging loss is that over personal autonomy. Where a person is forced into actions they do not want for themselves. To restore dignity, in my view it is vital that the personal autonomy must be impeccably respected unless it causes harm to another.
The Indian government says, there are more than 3 million prostitutes in India. Human Rights Watch says, there are more than 20 million prostitutes in India. I believe there are more than 20 million prostitutes in India.
[All quotes in this post are from Taslima's article linked above.]
To abolish this, will mean the unemployment of 20 million people. According to the current statistics, we have almost 10 million unemployed people and another 60 million who are under-employed. We add 20 million to these. They have no skills for other jobs. They have no acceptance or respect in society and are considered to be legitimate targets of sexual abuse by many. What alternative employment is available to them? Should they and their children starve for someone's idea of morals? I wouldn't. Frankly, sex is not that bad and I suspect that in a deeply misogynist society, there may be liberation in having sex without the often undesirable impositions of marriage attached.
Actually it is not difficult to abolish prostitution. Criminalize clients. Where there is no demand, there will be no supply.
There are plenty of countries where prostitution is criminalized. Legislation has little impact on biological urges and trade rooted in basic instinct. There isn't any place in the world without prostitution. Personally, I also believe that sex is always traded - formally or informally. For money, protection, peace of mind, social legitimacy, love, power, mutual enjoyment, whatever. I don't know what is so evil about money alone.
Truth1. Prostitution is the oldest form of patriarchal oppression, not oldest profession.
Everything is the oldest form of patriarchal oppression. Prostitution is no special case than say arranged marriages or women being last to eat in most households. Read the Delhi Police sting. In recent years, awareness and activism actually has sex work breaking out of those cages, and now we single it out as patriarchal oppression?
Most of the comments on Taslima's blog are from sex workers, activists and other related professionals, vigorously defending the right to engage in sex work. I don't deny that there are oppressed women forced into the sex trade, but calling all prostitution oppression is an attitude that defies the observable world and thus is worthless in terms of finding practical and respectful solutions to the problems that do exist.
Nor are all prostitutes women.
Lie2. Prostitution is sexual freedom. /Prostitution is sex.
Truth2. Prostitution is sexual exploitation./ Prostitution is not sex, it is sexual violence.
I can choose to call my computer keyboard a guitar if I wish. Sex work can be sexual freedom if the woman has made her choice, it can be exploitation if she is forced into it against her wish. This disregard of the prostitute's will stinks of a misogynist, patriarchal society, where women are mere objects and what their experiences must be validated or invalidated by another.
Our awareness of rights still hasn't reached the point of respecting choice. Supply & Demand in the Caravan magazine is worth a read in its excellent detailing of high end sex work through the perspective of the pimp (who has prostituted himself too, at a point).
Truth3. Legalizing prostitution benefits sex traffickers, pimps,clients,sex industries.
Two parts. 1. other than the sex traffickers: I don't see why people engaged in the sex trade benefiting from it is an undesirable thing. When was the last time anyone was horrified over a business doing well? That is the whole idea of productive employment, no? That people are able to work with dignity and earn well?
2. Sex trafficking again may or may not be exploitative, depending on whether the girl is in it willingly and using the trafficker to reach opportunities or if she is being forced into it against her will. For the forcing against will, the state has a duty to protect citizens from harms, and existing laws provide for that. Such a person is a criminal, and must be stopped, but I disagree that this is the total or even overwhelming reality.
Last year's drought brought with it stories of young girls who had left drought and crippling poverty behind to work as sex workers in the cities (remember the moral police killed the dance bars?). They were under-graduates. Did they know they were ruining their lives? Sure they did. What alternatives did they have? Economy was at a standstill without water for all except the tanker mafia and related male dominated work. Cities aren't exactly welcoming under-graduates from rural schools with open arms and jobs. Vulnerable girls will be targeted by sexual predators anyway.
What were their choices? Seeing the family die of thirst? Being trafficked as brides to states like Haryana and Punjab? They were prostituting themselves, earning enough to cover their expenses and sending money home to their families so that there may be water for them, siblings would study and eat well. I think it was the wiser choice than selling themselves permanently in exploitative marriages (where wives without any local base are purchased and often privately shared among siblings) or dying of thirst and hunger. Maybe one day they do something else, maybe they like this way of earning. Who knows? It can be argued that they didn't have to be the ones to sacrifice, but they also got to be the ones to escape that crippling cage to seek something new.
I also see no harm in sex traffickers facilitating the movement of sex professionals as long as they are choosing to do it, and not being kidnapped and/or sold. What do all those "over seas head hunters" do for computer professionals wanting a job in the US or nurses from Kerala seeking employment in Dubai? The bottom line is CHOICE. Personal autonomy.
Truth4. The sex of prostitution is not “sex” for women in it. Most men who use women in prostitution have other sexual partners.
Well, obviously the sex worker has other partners too. How does the partners present or in other places turn sex into something else? Irrelevant. If this is meant to imply a blame on prostitutes for harming relationships, then that is bullshit. If it is meant to illustrate the lack of permanence, well that is fundamental in sex work, no?
The client, as a consenting adult is responsible for what s/he does with their relationship and the ethical (and legal) contract with the spouse/partner, and blaming a sex worker for this is plain WTFuckery. Besides, a person inclined to be unfaithful doesn't necessarily need a sex worker. Plenty of married people have affairs with non-prostitutes. The worrisome thinking here is that this is somehow the business of the government to prevent.
Also, there are plenty of people who actually have no (or low) wish for sex and are quite happy for their husbands to find satisfaction elsewhere. In India, where a vast majority of marriages happen for reasons other than sexual compatibility, sexually mismatched couples are the norm more than exception. I forget where I read it, but in about 70% of Indian marriages (not certain, can't find source right now), there is no sex or very little sex between husband and wife beyond 5 years, and some 85%-90% by 10 years.
Truth5. Prostitution is not an acceptable job for women. They are forced to enter prostitution. Prostitution is an abusive institution and women stay poor in prostitution. It is not a vocation choice, it is human rights abuse.
Why should one person's idea of what is appropriate for all sex workers be more valid than another's? Why not mine, the sex workers' or a friendly neighborhood mullah simply asking for them to be stoned? Who decides what is acceptable for another to do with their bodies? Why?
It is indeed a vocation of choice for very many. Some of whom have commented on Taslima's post in objection. Others have formed unions to assert their rights. They aren't asking for alternative jobs. They are asking for legal rights.
Have you ever tried telling a mountaineer to stop courting death on a mountain? All that practice, expense, effort, risk of life and limb, abandoning non-degradable junk in emergencies (or routinely) .... to spend five minutes on a peak and hurry back with no lasting utility from the exercise. What makes it more acceptable to apply such an ban on prostitution? No really, what is the hang up being forced on all and sundry here?
Truth6. Legal prostitution does not protect women in prostitution from harm. All prostitution , legal or illegal, harm women.
Read the many comments on your blog from real life sex workers who have experienced these things first hand and are telling you their side of the story. They are speaking of how a legal status will help protect them from assault, exploitation and discrimination. One show the ignorant, but not one who refuses to see. Harming women? Perhaps they are harmed more from their interests in legal protection being dismissed into a ban on them?
India too has organizations and sex workers unions with memberships of sex workers who obviously aren't slaves, since they are members in a place like that freely. Whether psychological slavery happens? Possibly. I have seen it more in marriage than in places where the sex worker gets paid upfront, can refuse and in any case gets free of the man when the time/act covered by the payment is done. In my view, these things are individual situations and empowerment means that people should be enabled to make choices for their well being rather than regimented into a prescription.
Greater harm is done in attaching this stigma and lack of respect for sex workers.
Truth7. Not social stigma, Harmful aspects are rape, beatings, physical abuse, psychological abuse, and other violence from clients and pimps.
Every third woman in India has experienced domestic abuse and physical violence. Every third woman in India is not a prostitute. Why this selective protection of women from one kind of risk? Will stopping prostitution and entering unemployed and vulnerable in a society that doesn't respect them be a better alternative? How about law enforcement? Prostitute or domestic violence, rape, beatings, etc are punishable by law. Why aren't you recommending upholding laws - which is a pretty direct fix and will work to protect any woman from assault?
Truth8. Prostitution is associated with increased rate of sex crimes.
See above about enforcement, but I dare say it will be a complex solution. Also, I would like to see some data for this.
Truth9. Prostitution is the destination point for trafficking.
Only if you are incapable of thinking of anything other than prostitution, because two massive areas of trafficking are actually domestic work and bonded labour. Visit coal mines to see little sooty kids wrecking lungs in coal dust.
Truth10. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution expands the sex industry
So? Did you protest the profusion of ice cream parlours or cyber cafes? India NEEDS a sex industry. We have too many people interested in sex with too few legitimate outlets.
Truth11. We have to decriminalize poor prostituted women but arrest their predators: clients, pimps, traffickers.
In other words, lie in action. Strangle prostitution without appearing to target the women you are claiming to save. Nice ethics, madam. But the funny thing is that this is true in India already. Women can offer sex for money in India, but pimping, trafficking, running a brothel and so on is illegal. So where is the reduction in prostitution?
My bottom line? Personal Autonomy. Who a person has sex with and why is really no one else's business as long as it is consensual. When it is not consensual, we already have laws existing for that.
I would like to see RESPECT for sex workers - as for every human - as the biggest intervention, which clearly is missing here rather than these acts of God. That itself will be a big milestone.
Reduction of poverty will go a long way to help women find alternatives that agree with their conscience among those who do it solely out of desperation. Reducing unemployment, monitoring for human rights abuse and offering rescues and alternatives to those who WANT to leave will allow a better result from lesser money.
Rather than strangle prostitution, it should be legalized, legitimized, sex workers being recognized as members of society with a right to live their lives. Law enforcement should be available to them. Crimes against them should be investigated. Safety created now, rather than dangled like bait on the condition of embracing unemployment and starvation.
But most, most, most of all, there is an urgent need to understand that human rights are rooted in personal autonomy. The ability for self-determination and the lack of imposed limits to potential. It is vital that human rights workers do not become patronizing messiahs.
There is no excuse for de-legitimizing the existence of a group of people we fail to protect. It only hides our failure under the carpet. Banning sex work will not end sex slavery, let alone all trafficking, because slavers are already criminals and are highly unlikely to give up a profitable business for your sense of morality. Banning prostitution is the human rights activists version of Gurgaon cops banning women from working post 8pm as a solution for rapes. In other words, it is a big lie.
And even more than that, understanding the difference between choice and coercion. I repeat. A sex slave is a victim of a horrendous crime that means rape. A sex worker is a professional in a vocation that may not be approved by all. They are NOT the same thing.