Vice Squad
Monday, March 15, 2004
Licensing Illegal Prostitutes

Operating a retail trade business in India typically requires a license. The mayor of Kolkata, India wants to make sure that prostitutes are complying with this regulation. This despite the fact that prostitution is illegal. The mayor "has said he would grant trade licences to about 16,000 sex workers and their family members living in Sonagachi, one of Asia's biggest brothels in the city's north.

'I don't want to know who is into what trade or whether it's right or wrong. That the government will decide. I only know if you are trading, then you must have a licence,' [the mayor] has argued.

He said he had decided to ask sex workers to get trade licences subject to the fulfilment of some conditions.

Prostitution is considered a crime in India that can fetch an offender up to one year in prison and a fine."

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