Child prostitution is an important issue but in India, it has not gained much concern because of a lack of sensitivity. Child pornography is a phenomenon that deprives those innocents of their childhood, rights and dignity. In our country not only now but has been existed for ages. In Rigveda, it is written that there were women who were common to several man i.e, who were prostitutes. Also in Mahabharata, prostitution was an established institution that means sexual exploitation of women and children.
Child prostitution is defined as the exploitation of children below age of 18 years in sexual activities for financial purposes. Child prostitution and child pornography is closely related to each other, child pornography refers to the audiovisual representation of children for the sexual gratification of the use. In 1994 Ministry of human resource development shows in their report that one-third of the child prostitutes belongs to Cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Bangalore and Hyderabad. These children usually came from broken shelters and lured by the person who promises them to provide food and Shelter.
JUDICIAL RESPONSE AGAINST SUCH ACTIVITIES :
In India various laws have been made for safeguarding the children some of them are as follows:
- Article 23 of the Indian constitution deals with the prohibition of human trafficking, forced labor and all other exploitation.
CASE: Raj bhahdur v. Legal remembrance
Held that women trafficking for immoral purposes is strictly prohibited under Article 23 of the constitution.
- Article 39(e) of the constitution deals with the health and strength of men, women, and children below 18 years.
- Article 39(f) says that children must be given opportunities to develop in a healthy manner so that their childhood must remain protected.
CASE: State of Rajasthan v. Om Prakash
SC said that the courts would have a sensitive approach when dealing with the case of child rape and it is the responsibility of the court to provide proper legal protection to such children.
- Sec 366 A of IPC talks about the procuration of a minor girl from one place to another for immoral means punishable.
- Sec 372 and 373 of IPC criminalize for selling and buying of minor girls for the purpose of prostitution with 10 years of imprisonment.
- Also, various Act have been passed for safeguarding the children such as The Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956; Rescue and Rehabilitation of children and minors under ITPA, 1986;
The Juvenile Justice Act, 2000; Indecent Representation of Women(Prohibition) Act,1986; etc.