India Addresses Child Prostitution

The Indian government released a disturbing report this week on the extent to which child prostitution and trafficking for sexual purposes has become a major issue for Indian law enforcement. According to Indian Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, there are an astounding 100 million people involved in these practices in one way or another. Of the more than 3 million sex workers in India, it is estimated that 40 percent of them are children.

To illustrate the extent of the problems faced by millions of Indian children, the father of one of the stars of the recent hit-movie Slumdog Millionaire recently put his daughter up for sale to a fake sheik for £200,000. And Indian children aren’t the only victims. In a U.N.-issued report published earlier this year, it was estimated that over 200,000 Nepalese girls have been trafficked into Indian red-light districts.

Poverty and India’s unique caste system have been blamed for these astounding numbers. Slum and peasant children are looked upon as objects to be exploited in any way possible, in many cases by their own parents. India may be the world’s biggest democracy but it obviously has a long way to go in extending basic human rights to its most vulnerable citizens.

To their credit they aren’t sweeping the problem under the rug. The question is whether there is enough political will to do anything about it?

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