by Amanda Kloer
A report issued by the Indian government yesterday found that around 1.2 million prostituted children are believed to be currently enslaved throughout India. To give a comparison, that’s roughly the entire population of Dallas. Child prostitution in India has become more than just a serious issue- it’s an epidemic.
The study was based on surveys which identified approximately three million prostitutes in India, 40% of which are minors. In part, this incredibly high number of exploited children in India is due to its status as a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking. However, authorities estimate up to 90% of India’s trafficking is internal- Indian kids being forced into Indian brothels.
India’s internal child trafficking epidemic is indicative of the evolution of human trafficking- local “products” in local markets. Smuggling humans into a country is often costly and difficult- you have to bribe officials, forge paperwork, and arrange long distance transportation. However, if a trafficker can find a very vulnerable person, say a poor, orphaned, or runaway child, he can enslave that child much more inexpensively. This cost-benefit analysis performed by traffickers has lead to a rise in internal trafficking around the world, and especially in countries like India, China, and Russia where there is widespread poverty and many vulnerable children.
So traffickers are selling Indian children within India. I have to ask, who is buying them? These 1.2 million exploited children will be sold for sex a conservative average of ten times a day, meaning that over 4 billion sex acts are being performed by Indian child sex slaves each year. Sure, India has a thriving sex tourist industry which attracts wealthy Westerners, but they can’t possibly account for 4 billion sex acts a year. I’d guess Indian men are buying these kids as well as tourists. It really has become a local epidemic in a local market.
Image from yazzagaffix.com