2002 – Supreme Court of Nepal Rules that Discrimination Against Sex Workers is Unconstitutional

The Supreme Court of Nepal ruled in 2002 that sex workers should not be discriminated against in the criminal law.

The case related to provisions of the criminal law that apply a lighter penalty to rapists in cases where the person raped was a sex worker. The court ruled this is discriminatory and unconstitutional and that sex workers should not be discriminated against with respect to penalties that apply to perpetrators of rape. The judgment is based on the constitutional rights to equality and to choose one’s own profession.

(See: “Legal Protections against HIV-Related Human Rights Violations Experiences and Lessons Learned from National HIV Laws in Asia and the Pacific“United Nations Development Programme, 2013,  (last accessed 16 January 2016).