Saturday, August 18, 2012

Decriminalising Prostitution&Drug Use -An Analysis

Decriminalising Prostitution&Drug Use- An Analysis. 

Many intriguing questions which puzzled me and troubled me since my graduation [LLB]days about drug abuse and prostitution.I always wonder; 

  • Why drug addict should be jailed?
  • Why prostitute should be jailed?
  • Why gay should be jailed ?
  • Why a person who attempts to commit suicide should be jailed?
  • Why sex worker sent to jail and faces police harassment ,where as clients&pimps are allowed to go Scot-free without any punishment?
  • Why sex workers will be caught by over-active police[otherwise in-active in other cases],only to present them before media as criminals or anti-social elements?
  • Why only drug addicts/consumer will be caught and jailed,where as high profile mafia ,intermediaries and traders will never get exposed?While smoking and Alcohol consumption is legal ,but not drug consumption?
  • Why society/state does not treat victims of drug use and prostitution with human touch,which is a societal problem not just an individual problem?
Both prostitution and drug use are very dangerous activity bound have serious health consequences.No person will voluntarily chose prostitution as calling or profession,either she will be forced into the prostitution or  exploited in the name of employment.

The Drug consumption will become uncontrollable addiction with help of drug peddlers/dealers,it is clear as long as drug are available like peanuts in the illegal market ,the drug addicts bound to exists in the society ,It is up heal task for victims of drug abuse and prostitution to escape from this trap.The society does not encourage to them to do so because of prejudices and stigma attached to it ,they will be  ostracized and  isolated from the society.

Case for Decriminalising Prostitution.


Anti-prostitution feminists like Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, and Melissa Farley see prostitution as a vicious form of male domination and oppression.The prostitution is direct result of commodification and objectification of women by men.The women are purchased for sex like Cigar and alcohol in the market.It is degrading form of exploitation of women by men.  


Most say prostitution is oldest profession since times immemorial ,can't be controlled by the state through repressive measures and it is illegal since,it is immoral activity and against the social ethos,but none support legalising the prostitution citing that it will corrupt the societal morals and lead to more chaotic situation as already the issues like Adultery and live-in relationship threatening the existence of institution of marriage and family life.Now legalising prostitution,it will compound the existing problems.If it is made legal ,no one wants brothel house in their neighborhood.The Swedish prostitution law that criminalizes purchasers and pimps and decriminalizes prostituted persons.
 
In 1949, the United Nations adopted a resolution in favor of the decriminalization of prostitution, which has been ratified by fifty countries but not by the United States.Mrs.Eleanor Roosevelt[who was instrumental in UNDHR] was one among ,those who approved.
 
Donna M. Hughes, PhD, Professor, Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed [University of Rhode Island] wrote in the Oct. 20, 2004 in an article published in National Review "Women's Wrongs" that: 

"Legalization would mean the regulation of prostitution with laws regarding where, when, and how prostitution could take place. Decriminalization eliminates all laws and prohibits the state and law-enforcement officials from intervening in any prostitution-related activities or transactions, unless other laws apply."

Kimberly Klinger, writer, in the Jan.-Feb. 2003 in an article  "Prostitution, Humanism, and a Woman's Choice," The published in Humanist wrote :"Decriminalization essentially means the removal of laws against this and other forms of sex work”
 
In an article "Since Sex Sells, Why Not Make a Profit? by Robyn E. Blummer: It also discusses the reasons why people and society do not want to legalize prostitution; these are based on the "moralistic and paternalistic" rather than the "legal and practical." 

The State of Nevada[US] and other countries has decriminalised prostitution,the sex worker will be not be treated as accused and wrong doer under eye of law.    
 
Decriminalising Drug use : 

Columbia University epidemiologist Ernest Drucker says  that like alcohol prohibition, the “war on drugs” is doomed to fail and that prohibition measures like arrest and incarceration are forms of societal violence themselves.

Portugal and other countries decriminalised drug use ,drug addict will be treated and rehabilitated under experts supervision.The drug addictive will not be sent to jailed,but he or she will treated as victim ,state will ensure his/ her treatment as well as rehabilitaion under expert guidance.   
 
about  20 countries have adopted some form of decriminalisation of drug possession,including some States that have only decriminalised cannabis possession. 


Conclusion :


The United Nations called for Decriminalisation of Prostitution and Drug ,but countries like India,it is difficult to imagine the concept of  decriminalizing and legalising the prostitution due to various reasons.  
    
The Supreme Court of India also urged that age old-profession the prostitution should be decriminalised and legalised ,proponents of legalisation argue that ,when you cant control it ,it is better to legalise to identity people associate with prostitution for better rehabilitation and helps to control diseases like AIDS/HIV/STD.The opponents argue such experiments will not work in India where socio-econmic conditions are different when compared to  countries like Germany or New Zealand.When Caste system and caste discrimination still prevalent in rural areas,most victims belongs to weaker sections and poorer sections of the society.

The decrimnalising drug use will bound to help the state to identify the drug addictive for proper treatment and  rehabilitation.It will lessen social stigma of drug addictive and give courage to drug addictive to opt for treatment and rehabilitation voluntarily. 
 
Recently in July 2012 ,United Nations-backed Global Commission on HIV and the Law; recommended that nations should get rid of “punitive” laws against prostitution  or “consensual sex work” and decriminalize the voluntary use of illegal injection drugs in order to combat the HIV epidemic.It also wants nations to "Decriminalise private and consensual adult sexual behaviours, including same-sex sexual acts and voluntary sex work.”
 References :


 
 
 

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LAW AND SOCIETY