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Child trafficking in India, Pedophilia in Goa

December 31, 2006 · 

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by Peter de Souza & Preetu Nair

(Extract)
The study, “A report on trafficking of women and children in India 2002-2003”, reveals that Goa has the highest levels of trafficking of women and children compared to other states. However, though inter-state trafficking is high, the intra-state trafficking is a minimal with only 0.6 percentage, just as in the case of Delhi. The study commissioned by National Human Rights Commission was carried out with the support of UNIFEM and conducted by the Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) also confirms that trafficking, though not reported from many places, is happening almost everywhere.

Based on primary data collected through interviews of 4006 persons in 13 states and Union Territories, including victims, exploiters and perpetrators, the study encompasses major areas of trafficking. On one hand, the study confirmed that majority of trafficked persons are girl children and on the other hand it negated certain popular myths that the clientele who visit the brothels or abuse trafficked girls are men who live away from their families and, therefore, look for options to satisfy their sexual urges. “The exploitation of women and children takes place not only before trafficking, but also during trafficking and after trafficking. The rights of the trafficked persons are violated with impunity. They are subjected to physical and emotional harm from sexual assault to economic deprivation, and violation of human dignity,” the study reveals.

What is shocking is that even the post-trafficking scenario finds the victim at the end of the tunnel, with almost no hope of survival. The victim is subjected to different types of conceivable and inconceivable acts of perversion and exploitation. Further, the law enforcement, in most places, violates the rights of victims as the common practice is to arrest, chargesheet, prosecute and convict the trafficked victims, the study confirmed. “Even in Goa the target of action is not the traffickers but the trafficked victims. Statistics reveal that most of the offences booked under ITPA relates to sec 7 and 8 are against trafficked victims and not against the traffickers. Trafficked victims are arrested but no customer, pimp, transport agent, lodge owner, hotel owner, taxi owner, etc are arrested, though the law is very clear that those who commercialize prostitution and those who benefit from the earning from prostitution are committing an offence”, said Arun Pandey, ARZ, who conducted the study for ISS in Goa. [End]

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