Describe important features of the Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act, 1956

The Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act (PITA), 1956 is a landmark legislation in India aimed at preventing the trafficking of women and children for the purposes of prostitution.

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The key features of the Act are:

  1. Criminalization of prostitution: The Act criminalizes the act of soliciting or receiving payment for the purpose of prostitution. It also prohibits brothel keeping, living off the earnings of prostitution, and procuring or inducing a person to become a prostitute.
  2. Penalties for offenders: The Act prescribes penalties for offenders, including imprisonment and fines. It also provides for the forfeiture of property used for immoral traffic and the cancellation of licenses issued for the purpose of running a brothel.
  3. Protection of victims: The Act provides for the protection of victims of trafficking and prostitution. It allows for the rescue and rehabilitation of women and children who have been trafficked, and provides for their placement in protective homes.
  4. Establishment of special courts: The Act provides for the establishment of special courts to try offences under the Act. These courts are intended to expedite the legal process and ensure that cases are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.
  5. Prohibition of advertisements: The Act prohibits the advertisement of any service related to prostitution, such as brothel services or escort services.
  6. Prevention and control: The Act also provides for measures to prevent and control immoral traffic, including the establishment of vigilance committees and the appointment of special police officers.

Overall, the PITA is an important legislation aimed at preventing the exploitation of women and children for the purposes of prostitution. However, there have been concerns raised about the Act’s effectiveness in addressing the root causes of trafficking and prostitution, and its impact on the rights of sex workers.

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