• Sex Trafficking

    In India

    By: Jazlyn B.

    (Ratner A1- WC:879)


    How has the rise of sex trafficking been influenced by poverty and an imbalance of power in India?

  • The Global Issue

    India is the seventh largest country with more than 1,300,000,000 people. This South Asian country is most known for its traditional spicy foods and cultural artifacts, such as one of the seven wonders, the Taj Mahal. But unfortunately, being the second most populous country in the world, many people in India live in a state of poverty. Lack of resources and the imbalance of power has caused sex trafficking industries to develop and greatly affected minorities. Poverty has caused a high crime rate, making women and children in the country to constantly agonize for their safety. It is estimated that every eight seconds a child goes missing in India because India is a “crime hub”. Girls are taken from their homes and sold around India because often parents are desperate for money and sell their daughters as traffickers lure them by promising jobs, money and a better life. These girls are then kidnapped and transported to different brothels in India or overseas, not being able to contact their family.




    Every year, an estimate of 300 human trafficking cases are reported. The Global Slavery Index estimated 8 million trafficking victims in India alone. In 2016, 8,132 human trafficking cases were reported and only 23, 117 people were actually rescued from the trafficking system. 60% of the cases reported children, 55% reported women/girls, 33% for sexual exploitation and 45% for forced labor. Women/girls have the highest risk of getting exploited because gender-based discrimination is the norm in India. Young illiterate girls(aged 10-14 years) are targeted and are from poor families in rural areas. Once victimized they get burned, whipped, verbally abused and forced to sleep with multiple men everyday.


  • Victim Stories

    broken image


    Manju, at 12 years, was trafficked to New Delhi. Her parents were daily wage laborers with five children. A local agent told them, Manju could have a job in the city. Because her parents were desperate, they let the agent leave with Manju. Instead of getting the promised job, she was sold. The agent tried making a deal -₹50,000(US$800)- with a man and failed because the agent demanded more money than he would give. Manju was then raped by the agent, blamed for the failed deal. After almost two years, she was rescued by Bachpan Bachao Andolan, an NGO.

    broken image


    “I still remember that moment when my whole world shattered into pieces. I’ve been tortured and abused and survived serious injuries inflicted by buyers and pimps, but nothing hurts as much as the pain of being deceived by the man I loved,” Ayesha said. In a small village, she lived with her father and eight siblings. They were very poor. She had a close relationship with someone twice her age. He wanted to marry her. It was very common for young girls to get married in her village, so she married him. He wanted to leave the village(to the city)with her so they could be alone together. Fully trusting him, she went along as she had never been in the city. That night when they arrived, she was sold. There were girls in lipstick and short skirts lined up, taking men into rooms. She was tortured and abused by pimps and buyers.

    broken image

    Nasima Gain

    "I think it was the first time I was wearing a sari and remember being very happy. That morning, I never imagined that I would be so terrified by night," Nasima Gain said. One day, she(at 14 years old) was out with her friends, then sold and trapped in her community’s sex trafficking industry. After being rescued, she refused to leave her house or talk to her friends/family for a year, ashamed of her dark experience. Till this day, she refuses to explain to her parents what happened.

  • Psychologist

    Though the mental and psychological effect that sex trafficking has on victims is often overshadowed by the physical and economic effect, the psychological effect causes a lot of trauma for victims. Unfortunately, sex trafficking victims do get concussions, burns, bruises and more, as they are often abused by their agent, pimp or buyer. But, before and after being rescued, victims present an abundant amount of mental illnesses and psychological symptoms, such as depression, suicidal ideation, Stockholm syndrome, and PTSD. A common effect of sex trafficking or sexual exploitation is insecurity or embarrassment. As stated by The American Psychological Association, “Some commonly blame themselves for what has happened. In these instances, seeking help may not be immediate.” In addition, sex traffickers often intentionally misidentify women and girls as “willing” participants in the sex trade, who make a free to be there.” When victims are convinced that they got themselves in the situation, they often gradually get mental illnesses. Even as victims adapt mentally and economically, their experience stays engraved in their head and scars them for the rest of their lives.

  • Organizations

    Anti-trafficking organizations and/or non-governmental organizations have had great impacts on victims not only in India but across the globe too. Due to the psychological effects of human trafficking, it is very hard for victims to recover from such a traumatic experience, especially if they’re really young. NGOs work to not only help victims heal physically because of all the bruises, burns and scars that they get after being abused by their owner/buyer, but also help heal mentally, so that they can successfully live their lives, as the trauma can easily change victims’ view on people and the world overall.

    broken image


    Founded by Sunitha Krishnan & Brother Jose Vetticatil

    Prajwala is a non-governmental/profit organization based in India, solely devoted to suppressing sex trafficking and prostitution, as they believe, “No human person deserves to be forced into a situation that destroys dignity and damages the self for a lifetime,” and “Trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation is the most dehumanizing trade.” Prajwala provides a value-based holistic education for children that are vulnerable to get inducted into prostitution. They also provide counseling for children at high risk of being sex trafficked, by giving opportunities, dignified livelihood options and personality development. Most organizations have employees work to provide for victims, but Prajwala gets community members and mothers to help victims heal too.

  • Works Cited

    “191,496 Unique Pictures of Silhouette.” EyeEm,



    December 30, 2013


    “Download Sad Girl HQ PNG Image.” FreePNGImg, www.freepngimg.com/png/22160-sad-girl.


    “Human Trafficking in India Must End.” My India, 30 Apr. 2015, www.mapsofindia.com/my-india/society/human-trafficking-in-india-must-end.


    “Impact • Human Trafficking Search.” Human Trafficking Search, humantraffickingsearch.org/impact/.


    “India.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 May 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India.


    International. “Silent Slaves: Stories of Human Trafficking in India.” Women's Media Center, www.womensmediacenter.com/women-under-siege/silent-slaves-stories-of-human-trafficking-in-india.


    “Justice Logo.” Logopond, logopond.com/brandphant/showcase/detail/239127.


    Kalvapalle, Rahul. “An Indian Train Passenger's Tweet Helped Save 26 Girls from Child Traffickers.” Global News, 8 July 2018, globalnews.ca/news/4319117/india-girls-rescued-from-human-traffickers-tweet/.


    Kaylor, Leah.”Psychological Impact of Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery Worldwide: Empowerment and


    Intervention”[PDF]. https://www.apa.org/international/pi/2015/09/leah-kaylor.pdf



    “Making Love.” Oxford American, www.oxfordamerican.org/magazine/item/616-making-love.


    “Prevention.” Prajwala, www.prajwalaindia.com/prevention.html.

    Shange, Naledi. “Mpumalanga Bitcoin Kidnapping Suspects to Remain behind Bars.” TimesLIVE, TimesLIVE, www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2019-01-31-mpumalanga-bitcoin-kidnapping-suspects-to-remain-behind-bars/.


    Thelwell, Kim. “Causes of Human Trafficking in India.” The Borgen Project, Kim Thelwell Http://Borgenproject.org/Wp-Content/Uploads/The_Borgen_Project_Logo_small.Jpg, 14 May 2019, borgenproject.org/causes-of-human-trafficking-in-india/.


    Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Victim No More, Sex Trafficked Teen Takes on Indian System.” News.trust.org, news.trust.org/item/20190227005052-0ergj/.