Monday, January 04, 2010

Sex-slavery in India

This week, Christiane Amanpour had a segment on her CNN program {originally aired October 25, 2009} about the horrific sex-trade in India. It was informative and infuriating. {part 1; part 2; transcript}

Her guests were Ruchira Gupta, filmaker of "Selling of Innocents" and Taina Bien- Aimie, executive-director of Equality Now.

An excerpt from Ruchira Gupta:
"Of course, you know, anyone's heart bleeds when they know a seven-year-old is in a brothel. But what I've noticed is that because we sort of accepted the prostitution of adult women, slowly our threshold changed. And from adults it went down to the 17-year-old, the 15-year-old, the 13-year-old, and now the seven. "So, in fact, the acceptance of the prostitution of anyone who is female affects us all. So I think we really have to focus on, to turn this thing around, where prostitution has become so normalized, that it's leading to trafficking and transport of girls from one place to another, just for this purpose -- is that we have to really go for laws where we can go after the demand for prostitution. And once we start dismantling that and spread the message that cool men don't buy sex, then maybe we can start turning things around."

Some of the nauseating statistics cited on the show included 1.3 million children in India who are currently being used for prostitution. 1.3 million!

Stories of young girls ten and twelve-years-old who are forced to 'service' men 10 to 15 times a day.

Between the teenage pregnancies in brothels, the transmission of STD's, the human suffering from such degradation and abuse and the ruined lives of girls and women... One cannot even begin to fathom the personal misery and social calamity of all this.

The only bright spot in this disaster was knowing that at least some in India as well as some International organizations are actively working to combat this crime against humanity and have had some success.

This article at CNN was also a very sad but revealing look into rural prostitution in India, as well as this article from New York Times op-ed writer Nicholas D. Kristof.

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