Andhra Pradesh, the First Indian State That Decided to Punish the Buyers of Sex

This year, Andhra Pradesh issued a GO to criminalize buying of sex – it’s the first Indian state to explore beyond the conventional horizons of human trafficking punishment. This means once the law is set into motion, anyone who buys sex from the sex workers will face criminal charges and imprisonment.

The figures say, almost 1 million children in a year are exploited in the hands of vile traffickers strictly for commercial sex trade, while in total 14 million people are confined within the walls of slavery in India, alone. The state’s decision to punish sex-buying is inspired from the Nordic Model: it was first enforced in Sweden in 1995 to tackle sex trafficking by putting the onus of violation on the ‘buyers’ and not on the ‘victims’. Later on, countries like Ireland, Iceland, Canada and France adopted the above practice and saw positive results.

An advisory panel has been set up to make recommendations for legal reforms, which will comprise of Sunitha Krishnan, a notable activist known for her intensive sex abolishing ideas and initiatives, a member nominated by the Chief Justice of High Court of Andhra Pradesh, a woman IPS office designated by Home Secretary, a Nalsar professor and a senior advocate M Bhaskara Lakshmi. It’s also been proposed that the special secretary of the women and child welfare department of the state would be the convener of the panel.

We, being the fulcrum of human trafficking awareness activities appreciate the bold steps taken by the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu. Child trafficking in India is a rampant crime, and anyone who abuses them for sexual pleasure should be held accountable in the court of law.

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