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Preparing for Civil Disobedience: Indian Sex Workers and the Law by Prabha Kotiswaran

This article deals with the reform of prostitution laws in India. It begins with an outline of the current legislative framework available in this regard and then critically evaluates the various alternatives to the framework that have been proposed through the 1990s by the Indian government, universities and research institutions, the Indian women’s movement and sex-worker organizations. Mter undertaking an historical examination of prostitution laws in India from colonial times up to the present, the author recommends the decriminalization of prostitution with a strong emphasis on the protection of the civil rights of prostitute women as a matter of policy. More importantly, the author challenges the underlying assumptions of much Indian feminist theory and practice on the issue, critiques the politics of representation in the law reform process and seeks to highlight the agency of Indian prostitute women in the debate on prostitution laws.

Preparing for Civil Disobedience- Indian Sex Workers and the Law 

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  1. Born unto Brothels—Toward a Legal Ethnography of Sex Work in an Indian Red-Light Area by Prabha Kotiswaran
  2. The Value of Critique and Distributive Analysis to Addressing the Needs of Sex Workers in the Context of HIV: A Response to Libby Adler’s “Gay Rights and Lefts” by Aziza Ahmed
  3. “We have the right not to be ‘rescued’…”*: When Anti-Trafficking Programmes Undermine the Health and Well-Being of Sex Workers by Aziza Ahmed
  4. Achieving Accountability for Migrant Domestic Worker Abuse by Janie Chuang
  5. What’s Wrong with Prostitution? What’s Right with Sex Work? Comparing Markets in Female Sexual Labor by Elizabeth Bernstein