SEX TRAFFICKING IN INDIA
Poverty is one of the main causes which brings a helpless woman to the doors of sex trafficking. A woman distressed economically, often ill-treated by parents or seduced by a boyfriend who later turns out to be a pimp or procurer, and lastly uneducated or with a very low education level seldom finds any other avenues to feed herself other than prostitution. There are other social factors which degrade the status of a woman. One such factor is the view of women being a commodity – which is pervasive in popular manifestations of culture in India.
- - A quarter of the total number of prostitutes is minors, in over 1,000 red-light districts all over India.
- - Every day, about 200 girls and women in India enter prostitution, 80% of them against their will (CEDPA and PRIDE, 1997).
- - A survey by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development reveals that 4.9 % of the prostitutes in Kolkata born within the city.
- - Mumbai, the largest flesh market in the country has reached the figure of 1.5 lac (150 thousand) prostitutes. Mumbai’s major red-light areas count up to 75,000 prostitutes, out of which almost 50% carry the HIV infection.
- - According to a 1994 report in Asian Age, there are at least 70,000 women sex workers in Delhi, Madras, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. 30% of these women are under 20 years of age. 40% are 20-30 years of age, and approximately 15% of them became prostitutes as children under the age of 12.
- - About 7,000 sex workers cross over from Nepal into India every year. 66% of the girls are from families where the annual income is about Rs 5000. They may be sold by their parents, deceived with promises of marriage or a lucrative job or kidnapped and sold to brothel owners. Between 40 – 50% are believed to be under 18, the age of consent in India, some are as young as 9 or 10 years old.