[Rights Issues] Legalizing Prostitution, Gender Gap Report, Widows of Vrindavan, Christian Women Property rights

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Mrunal New Economy Course for UPSC
  1. Legalizing prostitution
    1. Immoral Traffic prevention Act, 1956
    2. Pro arguments: sex trade be legalized bcoz:
    3. Anti-Arguments: Sex trade must not be legalized bcoz:
  2. WEF: Gender Gap Report 2014 (Oct 14)
  3. Property rights of Christian women (Sep-14)
  4. Widows of Vrindavan (Sep-14)
  5. Stopping Child marriages: some fodder (Sep-14)
  6. UPSC’s proforma vs rights of disabled

Legalizing prostitution

Relevance in Mains:

  • GS1: Women-poverty associated issues and remedies; social empowerment
  • GS2: laws for protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.
Prostitution in India: Disturbing numbers
7 lakh “Registered” sex workers in India (Health ministry, 2012)
13 lakh Total Sex workers in India (NACO estimate, 2012)
40% Of them are underage (Study by Women and child ministry)
33% Of missing children never found. Many of them sold off as within India or in Middle-east.

 

Legalizing prostitution

Legalizing prostitution: Pro & Anti-arguments

Timeline of Events
1956 Immoral Traffic prevention Act, 1956
2007 Women and Child Development ministry launched “Ujjwala” scheme for rescue-rehab-reintegration of trafficked women.
2011 Supreme court appointed Pradip Ghosh panel to suggest reform in ITPA act and rehabilitation of sex workers. Report possible in 2015.
2014
  1. Lalitha Kumaramangalam (chairman of National Commission for Women) said sex trade should be legalized. (2014, Oct W4)
  2. And since then every day Hindu running minimum one article on why it should be legalized. Hence topic important.

Immoral Traffic prevention Act, 1956

  • The act does not prohibit sex work, per se.
  • but sex workers, her children and associates can be arrested for
  • Running brothel
  • Soliciting in public places.
  • if person >18 years age, is living on sex worker’s income- he can be jailed for 2 years.
  • This means, even sex workers’ children can be arrested because at 18 age, they are barely out of school and won’t have a job.
  • If sex worker arrested in ITPA, her children forced to join the flesh-trade.
  • This act aims to stop under-age girls from prostitution. But despite amendments in ’72 and ’86, it hasn’t stopped.
  • Under ITPA, Police can raid a premise without warrant. This provision misused for harassment and bribery by police. Sex workers constantly live under threat of raids=>Entry of pimps who “manage” policemen=>exploitation by pimps.

Pro arguments: sex trade be legalized bcoz:

  1. Prostitutes too have right to live with Dignity under Article 21. (Ex-Justice Katju).
  2. They’ll be saved from police raids and social-stigma.
  3. Their dependents and children can benefit from Government schemes= better Education and employment alternatives for their families.
  4. In the absence of regulation, sex workers forced to serve clients in unhygienic, unhealthy conditions, without condoms=> HIV+STD. Laws and regulation can stop this.
  5. Minimum wages, Work-hours can be regularized. Exploitation by pimps, madams, brothel-owners, police and politicians will stop.
  6. Sex workers will be covered under labour laws, social security benefits, EPFO. Government can earn taxes from them.
  7. I-cards will be issued. Police can distinguish between (voluntary) sex work vs. (forced) trafficking. Trafficking of underage girls can stopped.
  8. 2002: New Trade Union Initiative labelled sex work as “unorganized labour”.
  9. Sex workers must be allowed to enjoy same labour rights and human rights as others.
  10. All India Network of Sex Workers & other groups claim that sex trade legalization will reduce trafficking of women,  help them get health and welfare schemes.

Anti-Arguments: Sex trade must not be legalized bcoz:

  1. Fundamental duty in Indian Constitution: Renounce the practices derogatory to the dignity of women. By legalizing sex-trade, You’ll send wrong message to new generations of boys that women are sexual commodities and that prostitution is harmless recreational activity.
  2. Women do not join prostitution by on their will. Most of them are  abused, coerced and tricked into sex trade by pimps. So, Instead of “legalizing” this activity, Government should give alternative employment to sex-workers and put pimps into jails.
  3. Legalizing sex trade- will benefit pimps to force more women into prostitution.
  4. It is not possible to protect someone whose employment exposes them to the likelihood of being raped on average once a week.
  5. 2000: Sex trade legalized in Netherlands. Sex industry expanded by 25% with East Europe girls brought in, many of them underage. So, Legalization does not control the sex industry. It expands this immoral activity.
  6. Legalized sex trade=> compulsory medical checkups=> but even if sex worker got HIV, she’ll test negative for the first 4-6 weeks and infecting more clients in the meantime. To stop HIV, prostitution has to be stopped completely.
  7. Wrong assumption that legalized sex trade =condom used = less HIV. Because some sex workers would agree to go without condoms e.g. older women unable to find clients, pimp’s pressure etc.
  8. Registered sex workers=> no minors trafficked. This is also wrong assumption because if fake Aadhar cards can be created then fake id cards for under-age sex workers can be created as well.
  9. In short, Prostitution can never be a legitimate business because it will always be associated with crime, corruption, class, mass sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
  10. if Government can’t stop something then it should be legalized=> on that logic even narcotic drugs should be legalized. End result would be broken families and dysfunctional youth- just like in the West.

WEF: Gender Gap Report 2014 (Oct 14)

Relevance

  • “World-Ranking-report” type MCQs- mainly in CDS, CAPF and Banks.
  • Fodder for GS1, GS2, Essay and Interview.

Basics

  1. World Economic forum prepares Gender Gap report since 2006.
  2. Top5 for 2014: Iceland > Finland > Norway > Sweden > Denmark.
Gender empowerment index measures 4 fronts
Front Criteria India’s rank /142 nations
1.Economic participation Salaries 134
2.Education Access to basic and higher edu. 126
3.Health and survival Life expectancy and sex ratio 141 out of 142 countries. Means 2nd most bogus country in the world.
4.Political empowerment Representation in Decision Making position 15
Overall 114(2014); 101(2013). Means we’ve become more bogus than last year.

Except the political empowerment front, we are among the 20 most-bogus countries in the world on gender imbalance.

India women: Disturbing numbers from WEF report

Numbers not much important except when you want to turn GD into fish market
0% Seats reserved in parliament for women.
2.5% Total fertility rate
7% of Company board seats occupied by females.
9%  firms owned by females
15% of Indian scientists are female.
19% Employed in non-agriculture labor
28% Married in childhood before reaching age of 20
33% Become mothers before reaching age of 20
44% Suffer from malnutrition
55% Women Aware about contraceptives
67% Deliveries by trained person
6 Hours spend daily in unpaid work.
190 Maternal mortality ration per 1 lakh live births

MCQ: Find incorrect statements about Global Gender Gap Report 2014?

  1. Benchmarks national gender gaps on four fronts viz. economic, political, education and health.
  2. Is prepared by World Bank.
  3. Norway is ranked 1st on having minimum gender gap.

Correct choices

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. None of them

Property rights of Christian women (Sep-14)

Relevance: fodder for the topic “need for uniform civil code in India” in Essay / Interview. Classic mistake by many candidates- when they hear “uniform civil code”, their points only center around Muslim personnel law and “talaaq”. But an ideal answer needs to discuss status of women in other religion as well.

What is the problem?

Indian Succession Act, 1925 says: in a Christian house, IF a son dies without writing will, and there are no children/grandchildren, then:

  • His property would go to his father. in this case, His mother won’t get a penny.
  • If father also dead then, property will be shared equally among siblings and mother.

Thus Christian mother are discriminated in property inheritance.

  1. Law Commission chairman Justice AP Shah gave report #247.
  2. He asked Government to amend the law so that both mother and father have equal share in dead son’s property.

Widows of Vrindavan (Sep-14)

Topic in news because BJP-MP Hema Malini said many of these widows have high bank balance and yet begging for more money, they should leave Vrindavan.

Relevance:

  • GSM1: Women, Poverty development issues. GSM2: Vulnerable section
  • Essay / Interview: plight of elderly in India

Points to consider:

  • Poor widows from all over India come to Vrindavan for shelter, because they’ve no other place to go, relatives unwilling to look after them.
  • It is not religion but poverty that forced them to Vrindavan.
  • If they’re forced out of this city, they’ll not get livelihood opportunities in other towns
  • Constitution guarantees every citizen right to reside in any part of India, including Vrindavan.

Problem of widows:

  • 2007: Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. Adults need to give food, cloths, housing and medical care to their parents.
  • But, Most of the Vrindavan widows are without children / family too poor / family doesn’t care. Hence they’re forced to seek refuge in Vrindavan, beg for money while singing bhajans.
  • 2010: NCW report says ~75% of Vrindavan widows are from West Bengal. (meaning, W.Begal is the most bogus state in widow-welfare)
  • Supreme court ordered Government to provide proper housing and food to them.
  • But most of them don’t have proof of residence => can’t get ration card=>can’t benefit from Government schemes.

Stopping Child marriages: some fodder (Sep-14)

Relevance: a few fodder points for descriptive question / essay from a Hindu column.

  1. Child marriages increase Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR); prevents the girl child from realizing her true potential or education / career ambition.
  2. Need networking between lawyers, NGOs, Police and District administration, revenue officials.
  3. Political interference when Police wants to book the caste leaders. This must stop.
  4. Often, girl child turns hostile during court proceedings, case collapses. Hence need to make appropriate participants in Child Marriages Prevention Act 2006.
  5. Need funds for setting up of special homes for victims, skill Development training.
  6. Usually such families are poor and illiterate. Need to ensure they’re adequately covered under Government schemes for welfare, income and education.

UPSC’s proforma vs rights of disabled

Exam-Relevance: None, because I don’t think UPSC will ask question on a case where they themselves were defeated. Anyways let’s check the matter:

  • Even if a PH-candidate has a valid disability certificate, the UPSC would ask them to fillup a new “proforma” form and attach photographs showing disability.
  • This infringes the right to privacy of the applicant- for example an amputee female.
  • Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disability has ordered UPSC to stop this practice.

Wait, commissioner becomes important for Mains GS2: syllabus topic- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

(GS2) Write a note on the origin and function of Chief Commissioner for persons with disabilities. 100 words

  • It is a statutory body- separate commissioners at national and state level.
  • Under Persons with disabilities (equal opportunity) Act, 1995.
  • Under Ministry of social justice and empowerment.

Functions:

  1. Safeguard the rights of PH. Can take Suo-moto action.
  2. Has power of a Civil court under CPC (Code of civil procedure). He can summon people, issue fines and arrest warrants for non-appearance, order union and state Government to disclose information.
  3. Monitors that Government schemes and funds properly used for benefit of PH
  4. Monitors that laws and regulations donot discriminate against PH like this Lord Curzon UPSC.
  5. National Chief coordinates with state chiefs.

Visit Mrunal.org/Polity for entire Archive of Polity articles published so far.

Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

67 Comments on “[Rights Issues] Legalizing Prostitution, Gender Gap Report, Widows of Vrindavan, Christian Women Property rights”

  1. sir IR pe bhi kuch de do. vietnam, ukraine, IS

  2. Mrunal.org I salute you for your devotion to the cause of aspirants. God Bless U
    you prove age old adage “Blessing in disguise” to be True.

    1. it is a blessing alright… but where is the disguise.. :)
      the site clearly says that it is there to help aspirants

  3. Sir, while reading those articles in Hindu about prostitution issue, I came across a statement that “…Prostitution should be ‘decriminalized’ but should not be ‘legalized’…”
    I couldn’t understand the difference between two. Please explain.

    1. Dear Friend, Decriminalization means cleansing the “prostitution field”,where it spreads like mafia in Mumbai,Kolkata. women trafficking is common in those areas.these brothel groups forms like syndicates and even dominating the law and order and humiliating the govt. If we can’t change the system entirely at the moment then we must at least alter it for some time,so decriminalization must be done.Then indirectly these pimps won’t have backup so they will surrender soon.And legalization means we know ‘just like state run business(like liquor).But what are the pro’s and con’s we saw above.So In my opinion we should not legalize it.our culture and heritage may go into vain if we do so.

    2. I think it is differentiating b/w civil and criminal offence.

    3. Nikhil

      Legalization would mean the regulation of prostitution with laws regarding where, when, and how prostitution could take place.

      Decriminalization means elimination of all laws against prostitution and prohibits the state and law-enforcement officials from intervening in any prostitution-related activities or transactions, unless other laws apply.

      Hope this clears your doubt

    4. Legalisation is like bringing sex trade under purview of legislations and govt control.Govt can regulate the flesh trade via providing licenses, defining areas were sex workers can reside, can even tax their incomes , provisions for conditions and rights(health ,education) of workers and their children and so on…
      Decriminalisation means dropping off all criminal charges and monetary penalties on sex trade. Its like upholding the freedom of choice of profession…
      In an argument of decriminalise and not to legalise prostitution:
      – prevent harassment by pimps , police
      -no economic exploitation of sex workers
      -legalisation is like supporting something immoral if not able to solve the problem…its like for gaining some crores of tax revenue legalising sex trade
      -decriminalise will not snatch away the genuine rights of the children of sex worker(who r nt in anyway involved in the immoral act)
      -legalisation in this context is goin against the basic structure of consti. (dignity of individual)
      As far as i understand…correct me if m wrong …
      thanks

  4. “Under ITPA, Police can raid a premise without warrant.” Is it applicable to the Police of any Union too ? Like Delhi police ? If yes then why was there an issue in a 49 day government, regarding that the police cannot raid the area by it’s own until and unless ordered by the central government ?

  5. Sir what BASE EROSION & PROFIT SHIFTING burning topic in G20 meet

  6. While writing answers we need to give both pro and anti arguments or should we take one definite stand??
    Guide Plz.

  7. criminalisation = if caught involved in the activity(illegal) they would be charged under criminal law. They will be treated as ”apraadhi”. Police treat them badly. Bully them on the pretext of activity being crimanal. In real sense they are not apradhi but forced into trade.

    Decriminalisation= if caught they will not be treated as criminals. Not subjected under harsh sections of CrPC. Even possible if the activity is still illegal.

    Legalisation= making the activity of sexwork legal. That means legal protection. Rights envolved. Wages defined. Hours defined Worker union. Can file income tax return. Live a dignified life…etc.
    other thing -legalisaion will naturally make the activity decriminalised also..

    So the view you are pointing… ”decriminalise it rather than legalising it” – means there is an array of complexities making it legal. Coz legalising may mean many ‘-ve’ things also-

    1. u are accepting women in derogatory/ undignified work.
    2. Pimps will increase exploitaion on women saying that they are doing nothing illegal. Now bcz they hv protection of law….
    3. It mean state endorses such activities

    Etc Etc. (Mrunal has coverd)

    So it would better to decriminalise atleast.

    I hope u get it.

  8. Good work Ji…minor mistake words flash (Flesh) trade+maternal mortality ration(ratio)> In Short run no problem=but in Long run it will be so just i am commented Sir.

  9. Good work Ji…minor mistake word flash (Flesh) trade+maternal mortality ration(ratio)> In Short run no problem=but in Long run it will be so just i am commented Sir.

  10. yes same doubt..diff between decriminalising and legalizing ???? any1 please

  11. Heya …Did anyone receive acknowledgment ???( Frm upsc abt application submitted)

  12. SIr i have a confusion.UPSC expects innovative ideas from us.We read many articles on a single topic and then make analysis and then write all that we digested in exam.Where is innovation? All we write is only imported contents.So what to do to be innovative in answer writing?

  13. yah santhosh u r right….decriminalization also prevents the sex workers from the abusing by police….abusing by pimps..hence..prevents sex workers from giving bribe to police

  14. Vary nice Article specially prostitution part well covered .. Thanks Mrunal ..

    1. U r kiddin, right ?

    2. Physically handicapped

    3. Physically Handicapped

  15. Thank u mrunal sir…….

  16. criminalisation = if caught involved in the
    activity(illegal) they would be charged under
    criminal law. They will be treated as ”apraadhi”.
    Police treat them badly. Bully them on the
    pretext of activity being crimanal. In real sense
    they are not apradhi but forced into trade. Decriminalisation= if caught they will not be
    treated as criminals. Not subjected under harsh
    sections of CrPC. Even possible if the activity is
    still illegal. Legalisation= making the activity of sexwork
    legal. That means legal protection. Rights
    envolved. Wages defined. Hours defined
    Worker union. Can file income tax return. Live a
    dignified life…etc.
    other thing -legalisaion will naturally make the activity decriminalised also.. So the view you are pointing… ”decriminalise it
    rather than legalising it” – means there is an
    array of complexities making it legal. Coz
    legalising may mean many ‘-ve’ things also- 1. u are accepting women in derogatory/
    undignified work.
    2. Pimps will increase exploitaion on women
    saying that they are doing nothing illegal. Now
    bcz they hv protection of law….
    3. It mean state endorses such activities Etc Etc. (Mrunal has coverd) So it would better to decriminalise atleast. I hope u get it.

  17. nothing can b better thn this…..just 32 days left n this superb compilation…thanks Mrunal n Team…

  18. mrunal sir its my personal view that if sex trade is legalized then no. of rape might be low because these people might easily approach prostitutes or sex workers to vent out their lust.

    1. @ lucky: same thing i also feel

  19. Any One interested in sharing insight prelims test series ?

    1. yes…me too

      1. I want to share it

    2. yes I want to share it

  20. Nice article mrunal sir. I guess in a way, it will also cut down crime rates against woman.

  21. legalisation of prostitution will give sufficient room to brokers to prove human trafficking as willful profession by the girls and women. hence legalisation is not the appropriate solution. however strict medical check-up and use of condoms may be stressed upon………

  22. hardly a month to go for mains! sir if possible please share what will you cover in next 20 days so that we plan our revision accordingly. thanks for this article.

  23. mrunalji..plz write article on the fall of Berlin wall….i think there would be question on that in gs paper 1 as it has completed 25 years…also on Jwaharlal Nehru…bcz of his 50th death anniversary and 125 th birth anniversary….and on french revolution…as it completed 225 years…fodder material reharding this issues could be procured easily but you always provide something which can’t be found anywhere else… So i request you sincerely to make one article on these things

  24. Child adoption by non-Hindus also comes under UCC.

  25. Hello Mrunal Sir,
    It’s been long that I contributed to the UPSC aspirants community… So, I have finally compiled a Gist of Hindu and PIB for the News and Events of October 2014. I would be glad if it could be of any help for the aspirants.
    apna to hua nai Mains mein, shayad aur sab ko help mil jaye :(

    http://aspirantforum.com/2014/11/12/crux-of-hindu-and-pib-vol-02/

    this is the link

  26. Awesome article..

  27. anyway, I think there should be some more centres so that these widows could be rehabilitated properly.

  28. West Bengal se widows k jyada aane ka ek reason unka chaitnya mahaprabhu me aastha b hain. Kyuki chaitanya mahprabhu ne Bengal ki vidhvao ko mathura nagar me aakar saadhna krne ki prerna do thi.

  29. pls help me wid a doubt…
    PMJDY offers accidental insuranc of 1 lakh, life insurance of 30,000 n overdraft facility of 5000…
    There is every posibl chanc of using all such frebies and leave the acount dormant …will nt banks wil face increased chance of NPA…
    It may further exacerbate the iability of financial services given… hw to ensure that beneficiaries becm regular user of acount…? Wont it furthr affect our already stressed FD…

    1. @Puj@ :

      The PMJDY does offer accidental insurance and overdraft facility. However overdraft facility of 2500/- would be given only if account has been active(& used) for 6 months. Later, if a user continues to keep the account active for a further period, an overdraft facility of 5000/- would be granted. The accidental insurance facility can only be availed only if the account is found to be active prior to 45 days of the incident. So banks are not going to release money that easily.
      The main problem is that PMJDY might make suffer the declaration of setting up of payment and settlement banks by RBI.

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