Enslavement of young girls a USD 340 Billion business in India

GoaChronicle.com brings to its readers a shocking research conducted by Global March Against Child Labour (GMACL)…

The “Economics Behind Forced Labour Trafficking” report uncovers the garish realities of forced labour, focusing on trafficking of children for child domestic labour (CDL) and commercial sexual exploitation (CSE). Using a data-driven approach the report gives strong statistical evidence to highlight the extent and movement of money involved in CDL and CSE.

The report is based on a sample consisting of 420 cases of child domestic labour and 196 cases of commercial sexual exploitation victims across India, Nepal and Bangladesh.  A key point emerging from the report is that the costs of human trafficking on the economy are staggering. An unnoticed illegal monetary pool of anywhere between US$ 35 to US$ 360 billion is generated through the exploitation of victims of child domestic labour and commercial sexual exploitation in India accounting for approximately 2 to 20% of India’s GDP. If a conservative estimate is taken, then as per the report, the amount of illegal money generated for just one victim of CSE in a brothel per year can range between INR 3 – 14 lakhs, amounting to US$ 30 – US$ 343 billion from brothels only in India.

An alarming trend seen in the last few years has been an increase in cross border trafficking for sexual exploitation (UNODC Current Victims Assessment, 2013). Throngs of women are being trafficked from Nepal and Bangladesh, turning India’s metropolitan areas and urban cities into major hubs for trafficking. Government estimates state that the number of women in prostitution in India is ~3 million at any given time. However, this estimate is based on analysis of red-light areas alone and not the dispersed hidden population of women in prostitution via private brothels, dance bars or massage parlours. If we take into account the decentralised avenues of sexual exploitation then the number of women and girls stuck in this horrific trade could be double or triple ranging between 6-9 million.

Key source areas for trafficking of victims for CSE continue to be the impoverished states in India such as West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. Unfortunately, poverty-stricken Bangladesh and Nepal are also large source areas feeding into the mix of individuals suffering through CSE in India (UNODC Country Assessment, 2013).

Approximately 60% of CSE victims (for whom the education status was known) had attended school. However, none of them had graduated beyond middle school (highest grade recorded was ninth grade). Reasons for leaving school varied from ‘leaving school to start a job, and support the family’ to ‘I ran-away with the man who fooled me, and told me he would marry me’. These girls are unable finish their education, rendering them unskilled or ill-equipped to enroll in many legal, well-paying jobs.

View the entire report

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