Beyond the Shadows: Traversing the Plights & Rights of Sex Workers

  • Sarthak Aswal and Midhushi Shukla
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  • Sarthak Aswal

    Student at ILS Law College, Pune, India

  • Midhushi Shukla

    Student at ILS Law College, Pune, India

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Sex work is one of the most stigmatized professions globally. Sex workers have faced systemic discrimination and have had their rights violated throughout history. This study aims to delve into the complex landscape of sex work in India and tries to draw comparatives from the world scenario. Tracing back to ancient times, the paper begins with the evolution of sex work in Indian society, highlighting the association with courtesan culture during the Mughal period and despite its historical roots how it remains a stigmatized profession. Examining the legal framework surrounding sex work major emphasis is provided on the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act of 1956 and other relevant legislations. While efforts have been made to combat human trafficking and protect sex workers, significant gaps in enforcement and protection persist, leading to cases of exploitation and abuse. Recent judgments have also been taken into account and have served as a foundation for understanding the rights of these workers and the evolution and recognition of this profession. This study is aimed towards shedding light on the destigmatization and decriminalization of the people working in the industry and advocates safeguarding of their rights as well as dignity.


Research Paper


International Journal of Legal Science and Innovation, Volume 6, Issue 2, Page 238 - 246


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


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