Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women & Girls Act, 1956 (SITA) was enacted to make
uniform law all over country to prevent human trafficking. Preamble of this Act states that
this Act was enacted in pursuance of the International Convention signed at New York on
the 9th day of May, 1950, for the Prevention of Immoral Traffic. SITA was amended in
1976 & 1986.In implementation of the principles underlying Article 23(1) the Suppression
of Immoral Traffic in Women & Girls Act, 1956 (SITA ) has been enacted under Article
35 with the object of inhibiting or abolishing the immoral traffic in women and girls. This
Act aims at suppressing the evils of prostitution in women and girls and achieving a public
purpose viz. to rescue the fallen women and girls and to stamp out the evils of prostitution
and also to provide an opportunity to these fallen victims so that they could become decent
members of the society.
Meaning of Brothel and prostitute:
The definition of brothel and prostitute is given in section 2(a) and section 2(f) respectively
A brothel includes “any
- house or any portion of any house;
- room or any portion of any room;
- conveyance or portion of any conveyance;
- place or portion of any place;
for purpose of:
• sexual exploitation or;
• abuse for the gain of another person or;
• for the mutual gain of two or more prostitutes.”
It is vital to prove whether such place is used for commercial exploitation or abuse. It is a
question of fact whether a single use of such a place can make it fall under the definition of
the brothel. It must be noted that it largely depends on the circumstances surrounding and
the person keeping the place.
The criteria for declaring a person as a ‘prostitute’ is construed from the definition of
prostitution. It means “the sexual exploitation or abuse of persons for commercial
purpose.” Accordingly, two things to be remembered are:
- the occurrence of exploitation or abuse of a person for sex, and
- such a person engaging in this activity does it for commercial gain.
History of Prostitution –
Prostitution in society has not been an unknown phenomenon; it is of ancient origin and
has its manifestation in various forms with varied degrees unfounded on so-called social
sanctions etc. The prostitute has always been an object and was never seen as complete
human being with dignity of person; as if she has had no needs and aspirations of her own,
individually or collectively. Their problems are compounded by coercion laid around them
and torturous treatment meted out to them.
Reasons of prostitutions:
- Poverty The victims of the trap are the poor, illiterate and ignorant sections of the
society and are the target group in the flesh trade; rich communities exploit them
and harvest at their misery and ignominy in an organized gangsterism, in particular,
with police nexus.
- Coercive trapping
- Scare of social stigma. Prostitution is primarily due to ignorance illiteracy, coercive
trapping or scare of social stigma.
• Sahyog Mahila Mandal and Ors. v. State of Gujarat and Ors 2004
Court held- “Even a woman or girl living in a brothel or who is carrying on or being made
to carry on prostitution in a brothel and removed therefrom on the direction of Magistrate
under Section 16(1) is required to be produced under Section 16(2) of the Act before the
Magistrate issuing the order and is required to be dealt with in accordance with Section 17
(2), (3), (4) and (5) for the purposes of safe custody and rehabilitation.”
• Gaurav Jain v. Union of India and Ors1997
In this case Mr. Gaurav Jain filled a writ petition under article 32 of the constitution
seeking mandamus, direction for the betterment of life of children of prostitutes.
Decision -The Supreme Court held that the children of the prostitutes have the right to
equality of opportunity, dignity, care, protection and rehabilitation so as to be part of the
mainstream of social life without any pre-stigma attached on them. The Court directed for
the constitution of a committee to formulate a scheme for the rehabilitation of such
children and child prostitutes and for its implementation and submission of periodical
report of its Register.
Indian Constitution & International Conventions:
The Convention on the Right of the Child, the fundamental Rights in Part III of the
Constitution, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Directive Principles of the State
Policy are equally made available and made meaningful instruments and means to
ameliorate their conditions – social, educational, economical and cultural, and to bring
them into the social stream by giving the same opportunities as had by other children.
Fundamental Rights –
Hon’ble Supreme Court said that all fundamental are also available to prostitutes and their
children. For examples –
- Article 14
- Article 15 (3)
- Article 16 (1)
- Article 21
- Article 23
- Article 24
Directive Principles of State Policy1. Article 38
- Article 39 (f)
- Article 45
- Article 46
Government Role :
The government has established advisory and monitoring committees at various level for
the welfare of children and of the prostitute. The committees devise suitable scheme for the
proper and effective implementation of rehabilitation of fallen women. The review of
progress enforced are regularly be supervised by the Ministry of Welfare, Government of
In that view of the matter, it is believed and hoped that the above law and directions would
relieve the human problem by rehabilitation of the unfortunate fallen women caught in the
trap of prostitution; their children would be brought into the mainstream of the social order
these directions would enable them to avail the equality of opportunity and of status, with
dignity of person which are the arch of the Constitution.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge