Andhra Pradesh to Criminalise Sex Buyers to Choke Demand

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Date: Monday, January 15, 2018

Andhra Pradesh will become the first state in India to target people who purchase sex in brothels as part of a crackdown on the sexual slavery of women and children, authorities said.

India has strict laws against human trafficking, sexual abuse and operating brothels. Pimps, brothel managers and traffickers are often prosecuted.

Yet, those who buy sex from people forced to work in brothels, including children, rarely face charges.

That needs to change, authorities say.

“People who purchase sex go scot free,” said H. Arun Kumar, the state government’s commissioner for women’s development and child welfare.

Andhra Pradesh last week appointed a panel of legal experts and campaigners to study anti-trafficking laws that could be applied to buyers of sex, and to make recommendations within 60 days.

Panel member Sunitha Krishnan pointed to a section of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act, which says charges may be applied to a “person who carries on prostitution and the person with whom such prostitution is carried on”.

Campaigners say that anti-trafficking efforts will not work as long as police fail to target people who visit brothels where sexual slavery occurs.

“The buyers are the ones creating the demand,” Krishnan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Read ‘The Economic Times’ (source) article here.



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