Trafficking of women and girls
Sex trafficking is a form of modern slavery that exists globally. Trafficking is not restricted to race or religion. It can happen within the country, from one province to another, one state to another and also internationally.
Sex traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to force women, men and children to engage in commercial sex against their will. Many women and young girls have either been forced, coerced, manipulated, sometimes willingly on the assumption of being provided work and accommodations. However, many of these women become victims of sexual abuse, are forced into prostitutions, and are unable to leave due to identification documents have been confiscated, or out of fear of the authorities.
Often when these women and young girls are recruited, the traffickers charge the woman a price to secure travel, and ‘employment documentation.’ Upon arrival in the host country, the woman is held in a ‘debt bondage,’ in which they must repay the debt for bringing them there. In many cases, the woman is held as a sexual servant. Often, they are locked in private rooms, apartments, brothels, and are unable to leave the premises. There is research that also reveals cases of traffickers murdering women who resist being prostituted.
Human Trafficking is a direct human rights violation; the right to liberty, the right to dignity and security, the right to not be held in slavery or servitude, the right to be free from cruel and inhumane treatment are amongst human rights.
Statistics – Where is it most prevalent?
According to Equality Now’s report:
Courses of action that are taking place? Activists, projects and NGO’s
The Eaves Poppy Project in the UK – provides women who have been trafficked into the UK support, advocacy and accommodations http://www.eavesforwomen.org.uk/about-eaves/our-projects/the-poppy-project
Coalition against trafficking in women is an international project that aids women who have been trafficked around the world, and also provides preventative i.e. education to young girls so they will not be lured into these schemes. http://www.catwinternational.org/ProjectsCampaigns/Projects
Survivor Stories – http://www.equalitynow.org/survivorstories/about
Silent slaves, stories of trafficking in India. http://www.womenundersiegeproject.org/blog/entry/silent-slaves-stories-of-human-trafficking-in-india
1 million signatures campaign. http://www.stopthetraffik.org/united-nations-partnership
Our partner, Shakti Vahini are working hard to tackle the issue of human trafficking. They propose the following actions need to be taken to see a change in this serious violation of human rights:
How do we stop trafficking?
States need to pass legislation which prohibits and punishes all forms of trafficking as defined and set out in the UN Trafficking Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Governments also need to recognise that all trafficked people are victims of a human rights violation and provide them with minimum standards of protection and support. This should include appropriate shelter, financial and legal assistance, counseling, health services and temporary and permanent residence status.
States must also recognise that these initiatives alone will not be sufficient to counter the problem of trafficking and that their policies must also address the root causes of this problem, which are closely linked to migration issues. Growing inequalities of wealth between and within countries and an increasing, and often unacknowledged, demand for migrant workers in both developed and developing countries are fuelling migration. Many governments have reacted to this by mounting campaigns which seek to evoke fear in potential migrants and dissuade them from travelling abroad, and by implementing more restrictive immigration policies. This response is unlikely to deter migrants who are seeking work abroad as a means of survival and has increased the profitability of both trafficking and smuggling by reducing regular routes for migration.
The promotion of regular and managed migration, in line with the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families (1990) has the potential to reduce trafficking by offering migrants a mechanism by which they can take up jobs abroad which is safer, cheaper and guarantees their human and labour rights in the country of destination.
To help with this cause, please visit our TAKE ACTION (LINK HERE) page and donate (LINK) to Shakti Vahini.
The India’s Daughter campaign aims to work closely with its partners to address the issue of sex trafficking. Please visit our TAKE ACTION page, JOIN US as a partner and DONATE to help in ensuring that every woman is safe.
UNICEF, Children Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Out of Reach; Abused and Neglected, Millions of Childreve Become Virtually Invisible (Dec. 2005).