Tuesday October 17, 2017
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Prostitution: A dark world of ‘missing’ betis


By Divya Chaubey

Human life is a struggle. A struggle that starts with finding air to breathe and continues with the daily search for feeding the tummy. The day we die, it ends. People do various things to survive. People work for others; work under circumstances that they might not want to; sell their kids; sell their body and dignity with it.

Prostitution is one such job. It is never a choice made consciously. People are either forced in to it after being trafficked from one part of the world to another, or they are just born in to it with nowhere else to go.

The sad truth is, no one wants to be a prostitute, it is illegal in India, yet we have the so called ‘red light area’ in every district.

The society is not honest enough to accept this truth. With a stigma attached to it, it is not acceptable in our society, yet a big part of the population is involved in it. Girls with the tag of prostitutes are refused and disrespected in the society. The irony of it lies in the fact that at one place this society disrespects prostitutes and at the next wants their services for self-gratification. They are termed as impure and characterless but this society is the manager of this sad truth.

Men not only fulfill their sexual desires by visiting prostitutes but they also bring their anger, frustration, mental illness with them to wreak havoc on a prostitute. This is just a picture of what is done to them, every night.

There are so many stories of women who share their plight of being trapped in this dark world. Brenda Myers Powell is one of them, she revealed her story of being a prostitute for 25 years with a website. Similarly, Bharti Tapas, says that when she was 14, she was sold into slavery, beaten and forced into prostitution. The girl was quoted as saying to ABC news.

“When I arrived at the brothel, I refused to do what they told me to and they beat me and starved me for 10 days,” says the soft-spoken girl. “I thought I would rather kill myself than be forced to work as a prostitute.”

She was just a schoolgirl when she found herself in Mumbai, along with thousands of other girls who were beaten, locked in tiny cages or hidden in attics. Some were forced to have sex with 20 men a day under the watchful eyes of madams and pimps.

No girl wants to be a prostitute and never dreams of becoming one. Respect, career, marriage, children and family -this is what every normal girl wants in her life. But when no one wants this to happen, why do we have such a big prostitution web? How does this web function when no one wants to become a prostitute or is ready to give them social acceptance?

Every day we come across several news headlines of missing young girls but hardly bother or think about it. The word ‘missing’ attached to their names remains with them for whole life, which is not only a prefix to their denominations but also to their ‘missing life’. After being named as ‘missing’, these girls get the tag of ‘prostitute’ as their lives continue in the dark world.

The question is if this society needs prostitution so desperately then why the disrespect and rejection of prostitutes in the society.

You need them, you make them, you push them in this dark world, you ill-treat them and finally you make money out of them.

This must end. It is a sad truth that needs to be told. The society must make strides to accept them if it can not stop creating them forcefully. Proper laws (and execution) on human trafficking, child abuse, prostitution, rehabilitation or their kids should be make and effected.

It will take time but even in selling their dignity, they are honest about it. When will the society and state act honest and integrate them and their kids in ‘normal’ societies?


  1. Good article.Today very few people talk about this problem.I think no one is talking about this other than few NGOs.Today in every small and big cities of India there are so called Red light area.How painful it is for a girl or women to earn by selling her body.pta nahi kis majburi me ussey ek jaanwar ki Hawas ki aag bujhani Patti hai par hamara Sabhya samaj ussey Vesya kahta hai par USS aadmi ko rakhshas nahi.”Nagarbadhuwen Akbar nahi padhti” a book written by Anil yadav shows how our society and system tortures them.

    • That book is “नगर वधूएं अख़बार नही पढती” a Banaras based book.
      The problem of prostution will never be cure.It will always remain in our society.According to child and women development ministry of India there are 3 milion sex worker.35% are below 18 .Some are forced to do it but a large proportion has taken it as an proffetion because they don’t have any other work to do.3 milion are workers but a huge no of customer(abuser) are involve in it.
      It is coming during ancient time.As like poverty it will never end.
      महज कुछ मज़बुरियां रही होंगी बेशर्मी की…
      सरे बाज़ार कोइ इज्ज़त निलाम नहीं करता |


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UN Brings the World Together to Fight Violence Against Women and Girls; 1 in Every 3 Women Currently Face Gender-based Oppression Globally

A third of all women experience violence at some point in their lives, and that figure is twice as high in some countries, according to the United Nations

Violence against women
Head of U.N. Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka speaks on stage at WE Day U.N. at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, in New York City (VOA)

United Nations, September 21, 2017 : World leaders meeting at the United Nations on Wednesday launched a half-billion-dollar effort to end violence against women and girls, a crime suffered by 1 in 3 in their lifetimes.

The effort will fund anti-violence programs that promote prevention, bolster government policies and provide women and girls with improved access to services”, organizers said.

It will take particular aim at all categories of violence against women- human trafficking, femicide and family violence.

A third of all women experience violence at some point in their lives, and that figure is twice as high in some countries, according to the United Nations.

“Gender-based violence is the most dehumanizing form of gender oppression. It exists in every society, in every country rich and poor, in every religion and in every culture,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, head of U.N. Women, said as the United Nations held its annual General Assembly.

“If there was anything that was ever universal, it is gender inequality and the violence that it breeds against women,” she said.

In other forms of violence against women and girls, more than 700 million women worldwide were married before they were 18, and at least 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries, according to U.N. figures.

The initiative of 500 million euros (US$595 million) was launched by the U.N. and the European Union, which is its main contributor, organizers said.

“The initiative has great power,” said Ashley Judd, a Hollywood actress and goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) who participated in Wednesday’s announcement.

ALSO READ Violence against Women and Girls Imposes Large-scale Costs on Families, Communities and Economies, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“There are already so many effective, research-based, data-driven programs,” Judd told the Thomson Reuters Foundation ahead of the announcement. “Financing for existing programs is a beautiful thing.

“It also makes an incredibly powerful statement to show that the world is increasingly cohesive around stopping gender-based violence,” she said. (VOA)

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Myanmar Woman May Khine Oo Shares Her Story of Human Trafficking to Prevent other Women from falling into the same trap

The United Nations has described Myanmar as a source country for human trafficking

Human trafficking in Myanmar
May Khine Oo, 30, stands in front of her family's grocery store in Mon state, Myanmar, July 20, 2017. VOA
  • May Khine Oo was trafficked to China, where she was forced to get married twice
  • She wishes to share her story of human trafficking in a hope to protect other women
  • The International Rescue Committee charity gives her a small daily stipend for living expenses, and a village clinic is providing free checkups for her pregnancy.

Myanmar, August 24, 2017: The nightmare for May Khine Oo started on a trip home to Myanmar but lasted almost 13 years.

After visiting her grandmother in southern Mon state in the country’s southeast, May Khine Oo, 17 at the time, boarded a train for the state capital, Mawlamyine, to return to her parents in Mudon township.

On the train she met a couple who offered her a job, which she refused. She did, however, accept their offer of water, and next thing she knew she had fallen asleep and missed her stop, with no money to get back.

The couple suggested they could find her work to raise the funds needed to pay for a new ticket.

“I decided to accept their job for travel expenses to return home,” May Khine Oo told Myanmar Now, an independent website supported by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, adding that she now thinks the water had been drugged.

The couple took her to a local restaurant where she worked for three months, but instead of taking her back to her parents as promised, they then took her to a broker and she was sent to China.

May Khine Oo said over the next 13 years she was forced to marry twice. She had two children with her first husband and was pregnant from her second marriage when she fled after contacting a student group through the Chinese messaging service WeChat.

“I tried to flee many times, for many years,” she said. “But the foreignness of the communities made it difficult to do so and I was also afraid that my situation would get much worse elsewhere.”

While May Khine Oo’s ordeal is not uncommon, what is unusual is her determination to go public with her story to stop other young girls from falling into the same trap.

Forced to marry

The United Nations has described Myanmar as a source country for human trafficking. Police statistics show that 3,489 victims were rescued from 2006 to 2016, most of whom had been trafficked into marriages.

Also read: Pope Francis: Human trafficking is a Modern Form of Slavery and a True Crime Against Humanity

Prostitution accounted for the second-highest number of cases, followed by forced labor.

Police records show the top destination for trafficking victims from Myanmar is China, although the trade also exists in other countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand and Malaysia, and within Myanmar itself.

Myanmar was upgraded in June in the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons report to its Tier 2 watch list, which indicated that the country was making significant efforts to comply with U.S. standards to combat human trafficking.

Human rights groups, however, called the move premature, saying not enough was being done to stop this illegal trade.

Human trafficking story of Myanmar woman
May Khine Oo, 30, is pictured in front of her family’s grocery store in Mon state, Myanmar, July 20, 2017. VOA

“Preventive measures against trafficking in persons must be carried out systematically,” he said. “This crime is also happening in this country. But only serious cases are known to the public.”

Myanmar’s government passed a landmark Anti-Trafficking Law in 2005, which laid out hefty sentences for offenders. Cases that proceed to court are rare but have happened.

Myo Aung, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population, said one challenge is providing a strong alternative to the lucrative offers made by brokers.

“Potential victims do not heed education programs about trafficking,” he said. “Instead, they believe the enticements of illegal traffickers. As a result they cannot find help after becoming victims.”

Cautionary tale

On the local level, the fight is often about raising awareness.

Police Major Khin Maung Latt of Yangon’s Pazundaung township recommends a more aggressive approach to the information battle.

He said his officers cooperate with nongovernmental organizations to disseminate pamphlets, using a “door-to-door system.”

“It is more effective than formal educative talks,” he said, adding that residents should inform police if they are approached by brokers. “It is a preventive measure against liars. Prevention is better than the cure.”

Also read: Nepali Woman scales Mt Everest with the message to fight against human trafficking

After her case was reported, May Khine Oo was found by Chinese authorities and handed over to the Myanmar Police Force’s Anti-Trafficking unit in Ruili in China’s Yunnan province.

She moved back to her parents in Mudon, leaving her two children in China, and started to rebuild her life, receiving a grant from the Social Welfare Department to set up a grocery store.

The International Rescue Committee charity gives her a small daily stipend for living expenses, and a village clinic is providing free checkups for her pregnancy.

She has also filed a complaint with the police in the hope that they can find the couple who duped her on the train, and is spreading her own story locally as a cautionary tale.

“I would like to suggest to all parents not to allow their children to travel without close adult family members,” she said. “Using my experience as an example, I tell the girls not to blindly trust others.” (VOA)

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Rescued Bonded Laborers Need Psychological Help to Battle Mental Trauma: Study

Some rescued bonded laborers are coming together to lobby for their rights and share their stories

Bonded laborers
India announced an ambitious goal last year to rescue more than 18 million bonded laborers by 2030. VOA
  • Freedom becomes an alien concept to bonded laborers and they constantly battle with their captivity mentality
  • India announced an ambitious goal last year to rescue more than 18 million bonded laborers by 2030
  • While survivors of sex trafficking often receive help in shelter homes, rescued bonded laborers simply return to their villages and completely shut down
 After his rescue from abuse and overwork as a bonded laborer in a brick kiln in south India, Shanmugam Paneer has set up his own business making household items from bamboo.But the lifeless monotone he uses to describe his five-year ordeal betrays an inner struggle to move on from one of India’s most prevalent forms of human trafficking.

“For many, the process of coming out with the truth is far more painful than actually living those years in bondage,” said Loretta Jhona, a counselor with the U.S.-based charity International Justice Mission.

“Freedom becomes an alien concept and they constantly battle with their captivity mentality.”

Though India banned bonded labor in 1976, it remains widespread, with millions working in fields, brick kilns, rice mills, and brothels, or as domestic workers to pay off debts.

India announced an ambitious goal last year to rescue more than 18 million bonded laborers by 2030 and to increase fivefold the compensation that is paid to them, as part of a wider drive to tackle modern slavery.

Rescued workers need more psychological help to become truly free, counselors say, as they are often too scared to admit to suffering, such as sexual abuse, for fear of retribution from their former owners.

 bonded laborers
Young Indian bonded child laborers wait to be processed at a safe house after being rescued during a raid by workers from Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or Save the Childhood Movement, at a factory in New Delhi, India, June 11, 2013. VOA

“People are released physically but not really released from the burden of the debt, or the mental trauma they have undergone,” said Umi Daniel, a migration expert at the Aide et Action International charity.

Many former slaves instinctively curl up in their beds, used to spending a couple of hours sleeping in a cramped space, Jhona told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

While survivors of sex trafficking often receive help in shelter homes, rescued bonded laborers simply return to their villages and completely shut down.

“Very often there is no talk of the years spent in bondage,” said Jhona, adding that workers often find it hard to tell her of their hopes for the future.

“They ask us how they can have aspirations when even to eat or sleep they needed permission from their owners,” she said.

ALSO READ: India accounts for almost 40 percent of the worldwide laborers

“It is heartbreaking to see people with nil dreams and no aspirations, even for their children. They don’t think a better future can exist and most refuse to talk about any of it for months.”

No fear

Some rescued bonded laborers are coming together to lobby for their rights and share their stories.

Rukamana Deep says he finally “felt free” when he gave a lecture at the Odisha National Law University in April, describing how his family of four were trapped in a brick kiln.

Deep was able to tell his tale in detail, recounting his anger, despair, and helplessness as they worked round the clock to make up to 1,000 bricks a day for 100 Indian rupees ($1.56).

“There was no fear that day,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a telephone interview from his village in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. “I just wanted to tell my story.”

Deep says his confidence comes from the fact that he knows he is not alone, after attending monthly meetings of a migrant bonded labor forum, Dadan Goti Shramik Surakshya Manch.

“We just talk about a lot of things, including the present challenges and the past problems,” he said. “We understand each other and also create teams that immediately reach out to recently rescued workers. It’s important for them to talk.”

Daniel, of Aide et Action International, believes such forums are critical.

“It’s a big step in their healing process,” he said. (VOA)