India: A leading destination for 35,000 female sex slaves annually trafficked from Nepal-Bangladesh Print E-mail
Thursday, October 4, 2007

India a trafficking hot spot

New Delhi, ians:

India is emerging as a leading destination for human trafficking in South Asia, with over 35,000 young girls and women from Bangladesh and Nepal being brought into the country every year, the United Nations said here on Wednesday. “Human trafficking is world’s third largest profit-making illicit industry and in South Asia, India is among the favoured destinations. Here people are mostly trafficked from Bangladesh and Nepal,” said Gary Lewis, chief of the UN office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) here.“In India, 20,000-25,000 women and children are trafficked from Bangladesh annually, while 5,000-15,000 are brought from Nepal for the primary purpose of prostitution and slavery,” Lewis said, ahead of the global conference UN.

“Now Nepali girls below 10 years are being forced into the trade. In the 1980s (trafficked) girls were mostly in the age group of 14-16 and in 1994 the age further reduced to 10-14,” he said.

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 Monday October 8 2007

Modern slavery

Trafficking can be prevented with more awareness

The UN revelation on Wednesday that India is emerging as a leading destination for human trafficking in South Asia is  a matter of serious concern. More than 35,000 girls and women from Bangladesh and Nepal are brought into the country every year, most of whom are used in prostitution and slavery. According to NGOs, human trafficking in India has become an organised crime generating a business worth $ 8 million. Human trafficking is the world’s third largest profit-making illicit industry, with 800,000 people being trafficked around the world annually, according to the UN. It is a new form of slavery. Distinct from people smuggling, human trafficking exploits the migrant, either for forced labour or prostitution.

There have been over the years several cases of Indian women being lured to the Gulf countries by touts to work as maids. Many of them end up as bonded workers and are abused physically and sexually by their employers. With their passports and other travel documents confiscated, these women are unable to escape from the clutches of their employers.  A violation of human rights, human trafficking traumatises the victims and destroys their lives. Vulnerable sections are those who look at migration as a way to improve theirs and their family’s financial situation, by becoming maids, waitresses or factory workers. What begins as a voluntary decision ends up becoming a nightmare that they cannot escape from. In the case of children it is even worse, as these children are dependent on their traffickers for food, shelter and other basic necessities and are helpless to control the situation they are in. 

Interpol has taken various measures to end human trafficking, including creating a website where those hearing of abuse of children can post images and stories about the victims which would help law enforcers around the world to check the crime. Law enforcers feel a huge gap exists in securing reliable data on trafficking. This data would help to understand the situation better and design counter-measures. While national and international co-operation is required to check human trafficking, support of those victims coming forward to provide evidence is extremely important too. Finally, in order to prevent human trafficking, it is also important to create awareness of the dangers of becoming pawns in the hands of the touts or falling for dubious advertisements for jobs abroad.