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Every day girls are bought and sold in Delhi’s red light areas: DCW

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A 16-year-old girl stands inside a protection home on the outskirts of New Delhi November 9, 2012. She was working as a maid and was later rescued by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), a charity which rescues victims of bonded labour. There are no reliable figures for how many people are trafficked for domestic servitude. The Indian government says 126,321 trafficked children were rescued from domestic work in 2011/12, a rise of almost 27 percent from the previous year. Activists say if you include women over 18 years, the figure could run into the hundreds of thousands. Picture taken November 9, 2012. To match Feature INDIA-TRAFFICKING/ REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal (INDIA - Tags: SOCIETY POVERTY) - RTR3B6H0

By Nita Bhalla

Siliguri (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Girls and women trafficked from the poorest states in India and sold for sexual exploitation to brothels in the Indian capital face a sad and horrible life with little hope of escaping, a senior Delhi government official said on Friday.

Swati Maliwal, head of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), said she had recently visited the city’s red light district of Garstin Bastion Road, popularly known as G.B. Road, where she was shocked by the lack of support given to sex workers.

“Every day, girls and women are being brought there. They are bought and sold there for between 5,000 rupees and 100,000 rupees ($75 to $1,500) depending on whether they are virgins or not,” Maliwal told an anti-trafficking event in the eastern town of Siliguri.

“They are forced to sleep with up to 30 men daily. Most of the time, they are not given any money as most of it goes to the pimp. It is extremely sad and cannot be justified in independent India. It’s just horrible.”

Almost 36 million people are enslaved worldwide — trafficked into brothels, forced into manual labor, victims of debt bondage or even born into servitude, says the 2014 Global Slavery Index.

Almost half – 16 million – are in India. Many are from poor rural regions and are lured with the promise good jobs or marriage, but end up sold into domestic work, prostitution, or industries such as brick kilns or textile units.

Maliwal, who was appointed in July as chairperson of the DCW – a government body which focuses on implementing the safeguards provided for women under the constitution – said little had been done in the past to protect trafficked sex workers.

Despite a committee being set up in 2012 to look into anti-trafficking measures and rehabilitation in Delhi, she said, the committee had not met once until October last year when she had pushed for it.

“I really don’t understand how the highest levels of the government could do something like that. We had a meeting in October and some good decisions have now come out of it,” Maliwal told the gathering of civil society organizations, lawyers, judges and government officials.

“Delhi doesn’t have a rehabilitation policy, there is no restoration policy for victims and now after this committee met, we are trying to work on it,” she added.

The DCW is also starting a pilot project where it will partner with the private sector and select up to 50 rescued women and girls to provide them with training and jobs as well as set up residential schools for the children of sex workers.

Maliwal said she also found many other problems faced by the 5,000 sex workers residing in G.B. Road which she said could be easily resolved.

Despite an estimated 600,000 condoms being used monthly, none had been distributed by the government for five months due a “technical glitch,” she said.

“This is very strange and very sorry. You can imagine that if 600,000 condoms are normally being used there, and then there are none, the kind of infection that might spread. It is almost like an epidemic that we are creating,” said Maliwal.

“We have now issued a notice and ensured that condoms are being distributed.”

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    It’s a harsh reality! But how saddening that government knows but takes no step against anything.

  • Manthra koliyer

    This proves the value and respect the nation shows towards women

Next Story

Seeking Help From Lao Authorities To Get Home Safely: Interview

The woman stranded in Hunan is among 3,000 Laotians known to have been trafficked to China in recent years according to the Lao National Anti-Human Trafficking Commission, which said last October that only 600 of those women have returned home.

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Thai authorities collect identification information from suspected sex workers who were detained during a raid on karaoke bars in Muang Narathiwat, a district in southern Thailand’s Narathiwat province, Nov. 9, 2018. VOA

25-year-old Lao woman from near the capital Vientiane was trafficked to central China’s Hunan Province in late 2018 and sold to a Chinese man for $20,000. She issued an appeal through social media for help getting home and gave an interview to RFA’s Lao Service on April 30, describing how she was misled by traffickers, including a relative, to expect a relatively high-paying job in China, taken across the Lao-China border illegally, married off to a Chinese man who bought her, and then left to fend for herself without proper travel documents. On the same day that RFA spoke to the woman, who asked to remain anonymous to protect her and her family from traffickers, twelve young Lao women, including two that authorities believe were under the age of 18, were rescued from a karaoke bar in the southern Thai province of Narathiwat. The woman stranded in Hunan is among 3,000 Laotians known to have been trafficked to China in recent years according to the Lao National Anti-Human Trafficking Commission, which said last October that only 600 of those women have returned home.

RFA: How did you end up in China?

A: They, the traffickers, lied to me. I came here without any documents. I don’t have ID and I don’t have a passport. They drove me to somewhere near the Boten border gate, then took me across a mountain border.

RFA: So, you crossed the border illegally?

A: Yes, they illegally took me across a mountain, not through the border check point.

RFA: Why did you go with them? What did they say to you?

A: They said they’ll take me here to work. It’s easy; I can go home anytime. If I want to go home, they’ll take me home. I believed them. But once they sold me to a Chinese man who later became my husband, I couldn’t contact them anymore. I didn’t receive any money. I can’t go home because I have nothing in the way of documents.

money
My relative at home has asked for money from the traffickers many times; but they keep saying “next month; next month.” Pixabay

RFA: Did you report this to Lao police?

A: My family is too afraid to contact police because they (the traffickers) are now in Laos.

RFA: Who are the traffickers?

A: One of them is a Lao woman who told me that she had relatives in China, and said that work in China was not heavy. I thought I’d make a lot of money, then send it to my mother.

RFA: Did they the traffickers talk to your family first?

A: Yes, they talked to my mother. Actually, one of the traffickers is my relative.

RFA: Is your relative a middle-man or -woman?

A: Yes, she is actually the ‘small wife’ (misstress) of a Chinese man who brought me here to China.

 

RFA: What happened to you in China?

A: They sold me to a Chinese man who wanted to have a Lao wife.

RFA: How does your husband treat you?

A: We lived together as a normal couple, and sometimes I’d go to work. But later, when I wanted to go back home, I couldn’t and I could not contact those front men at all.

RFA: Why can’t you go home?

A: Because I don’t have any documents. That’s why I’m asking for help from an organization called ‘Sisters for Laotians’.

RFA: Are there any other victims like you in China?

A: Three of us came together. One of us, who is my cousin, was able to escape last month, and now she is already in Laos. The other woman is also trying to escape as well. There are many other Laotians around here. Most of them are illegal. Some have passports, but the passports are expired, so they became illegal now.

RFA: How do you communicate with your husband?

A: I don’t speak Chinese, so, we use a telephone (app) to translate.

China
Yes, she is actually the ‘small wife’ (misstress) of a Chinese man who brought me here to China. Pixabay

RFA: Do you personally know the traffickers?

A: Yes, I know them, but I can’t contact them now.

RFA: What are you going to do once you get home?

A: I’m going to report to the police that the traffickers promised me that I’ll get a salary of more than 1,000 Yuan ($150) a month. I now get nothing.

Also Read: Kim Jong Un’s Doctor For The Right Price, North Korea Hospitals Work For Money

RFA: How much were you sold for?

A: For 130,000 yuan ($20,000), but some others may fetch 150,000 Yuan. I received no money, and I don’t have any money to send to my mother. My relative at home has asked for money from the traffickers many times; but they keep saying “next month; next month.”

RFA: Why didn’t you report this to Chinese police?

A: The police would send me back to my husband. That’s why I’m requesting help from Lao authorities and hoping they can get me home safely. (RFA)