Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sari Bari

I firt came across this link in " Once upon a tea time " blog by Aditi. When I clicked on the link, I read all I could find on human trafficking and this is what it had to say.

Facts on Human Trafficking

Up to 27 million people are caught in the trap of modern-day slavery (human trafficking)—80 percent of them female and up to 50 percent children. (2006 Trafficking in Persons Report)

The majority of trafficking victims are used for sexual exploitation and others for bonded labor, domestic work, military conscription, marriage, illicit adoption, sport, begging or organ harvesting. (2006 TIPR)
Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing transnational crimes, generating an estimated $10 billion per year. (Combating Child Trafficking, UNICEF 2005)

Victims are robbed of their most basic human rights and suffer under deplorable conditions, such as threats to themselves or family members, torture, rape, malnutrition and starvation, confinement and emotional abuse.

How It Happens?

A young village girl, probably from a poor family, is lured, tricked or cajoled by a “trafficker” who promises a good job, a marriage or a better life in the city. The “trafficker” could be a woman who has previously been prostituted herself, a young man promising marriage or jobs, or a family member. The young girl, close to being illiterate, hopes and longs for a new life and ultimately finds herself in a horrible nightmare from which she many never be able to escape.

Who is Vulnerable?

“While some reports view vulnerability factors to the root cause of trafficking, others state that ‘they merely exacerbate the vulnerability of marginalized and disadvantaged groups and render them increasingly more amenable to a variety of harm’ (Sangera 2002). Vulnerability factors relate to the socioeconomic and political contexts of people that are interlinked and can be divided into two categories—personal circumstances and socio structural forces.” (Taken from The Trafficking of Women and Children in India)

Low self-esteem
Economic deprivation (a high percentage of trafficked persons belong to low-income groups)
Low literacy
Physical disability
Family breakdown
Divorce or widowhood at an early age
Lack of awareness (i.e. family member may trick or traffic a trusting girl)
Poor labor market

Human Trafficking in Kolkata (Calcutta)

“Kolkata's red-light districts are home to approximately 20,000 female commercial sex workers plus their families. It is estimated that these women see an average of three to four clients daily, (so) then between 60,00 to 80,000 men are visiting commercial sex workers every day." (Sleightholme 10)
Another source cites the number of women in the sex trade in Kolkata as much higher.
"Although exact numbers are not known it is estimated that there are more than 60,000 brothel-based women and girls in prostitution in Kolkata" (Vettivcattil 42).

“The majority of sex workers who come to Kolkata via trafficking are not kidnapped but lured, coaxed and cajoled with false promises or some offer of help out of a dead-end or crisis situation. Force is used later after the women (girls) have already been sold. Mashis (brothel owners/older sex workers) use friendship, sympathy, also veiled threats to convince the women that it is now in their best interest to conform and begin working.” (Sleightholme 38).

“India is mainly a receiving country, a reception center for women from Bangladesh and Nepal. It also acts as a transit country and, being so large, has its own internal sending, transit and receiving areas. Kolkata is an important receiver. It also functions as a transit place from where Indian, Nepalese and Bangladeshi women who come to the city, either independently or through agents, are taken to red-light areas in other cities such as Bombay, or even to other countries in the Middle East.” (Sleightholme 40).

“It is estimated that roughly 100,000 to 160,000 Nepalese girls and women are working as sex workers in India. Roughly 20 percent of them are estimated to be under age (under 18), with 35 percent abducted under the pretense of marriage or jobs.” (Sleightholme 41).

Some estimates say that as many as 100,000 Nepalese girls are trafficked every year from Nepal to India. Some girls are sold directly into prostitution, but, in terms of sheer numbers, the most common path to sexual slavery is that walked by girls who are searching for an escape from poverty (Brown 20).

By transporting people from their homes, often out of their original countries, traffickers make these vulnerable people even more vulnerable. They remove them from their social support networks and place them in an environment in which the language, customs and work patterns may be unfamiliar. Trafficked people are easy to manipulate and exploit because they are made to be dependent on others. This is why the sex industry likes trafficked girls. A trafficked woman who is prostituted, however, will almost invariably find herself in the very worst of exploitative situations (Brown 22).


T. Louise Brown, Sex Slaves: The Trafficking of Women in Asia, (London: Virago, 2000).

Carlyn Sleightholme and Indrani Sinha, Guilty without Trial: Women in the Sex Trade in Calcutta, (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997).

Jose Vetticattil and Sunitha Krishnan, The Shattered Innocence: A Field Study on Interstate Trafficking for Commercial Sexual Exploitation from Andhra Pradesh. (Hyderabad, India: Prajwala Anti-Trafficking Cell, 2002).
I urge you guys to take a look at the site and help the women in every little way we can to make some difference in their lives.
Love all serve all


  1. Thank you for the link Aditi. Had I not seen the link in your blog, I would never have been able to post this.