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Govts And NGOs Fail To Address Sex Trafficking

Governments And NGOs Have Failed To Address Sex Trafficking

By Kamala Sarup

Most of the governments are failing to address a rampant sex trafficking in women. It was clear that poorer people, particularly women and children living in less developed areas, were socially and economically the most vulnerable. Sex trafficking generally occurs from less developed countries. On the other hand, open borders, bad governance conflict and poverty are the main reasons for women's trafficking in developing countries. However, the lower socio-economic development have also further made trafficking and prostitution severe.

According to Indian report "India is a source, transit and destination for these activities and for forced labour. Bangladeshi and Nepali women are trafficked to India or transit through India en route to Pakistan and West Asia. India is also a growing destination for sex tourists from Europe, US, and other Western countries".

Sex trafficking violates all forms of human rights and dignity. With no freedom of choice, women are exploited and forced to lead a life of indignity, social stigma, debt and a host of ailments, including AIDS.

Most of the time governments could not formulate a comprehensive policy to deal with this situation. Rescue and rehabilitation are grossly inadequate. Besides comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, continued anti-corruption and sensitisation training for law enforcement and government officials would help. Severe penalties for complicity are essential too.

Women are double victims of AIDS when they are trafficked and subjected to likely HIV infection. Traffickers also lure children and women from their homes with promises of high-paid jobs.

Women are facing many grave human rights abuses, and trafficking is surely one of the worst

The governments and NGOs are also fails to provide basic protections to women and children who flee their traffickers.

The women trafficking is turning out to be a lucrative business than drug and arms-trafficking. Even Human Rights Watch said The U.S. State Department's third annual trafficking in persons report fails to meaningfully evaluate governments' efforts to combat trafficking in persons.

The governments and NGOs must address trafficking because children and women were often betrayed, compelled or induced into trafficking by friends, and family. Tragically, the sexual exploitation of trafficked children and the HIV/AIDS epidemic go hand in hand and are a threat to all of society.

For example In Thailand, a 10% decrease in school enrollment at primary school level suggests that more children than ever are turning to the sex market instead of attending school (ECPAT, "Impact of the Asian Economic Crisis on Child Prostitution," May 1999). The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that, "human trafficking is the only excape route for many genuine refugees who flee persecution in Europe" (UNHCR, "Trafficking and Smuggling of Refugees: The End game of European Asylum Policy?," July 2000). The UNHCR also reports that although Europe treats Afghans and Iraqis as illegal migrants, these people are Europe's most smuggled and trafficked nationalities. In the Balkans, threats of civil war breaking out between the Slavs and Albanians in Macedonia have decreased tourism, and the economy is growing worse. Meanwhile, selling women's bodies for cheap sex remains a steady, lucrative business for the captors and pimps (UNICEF, "Trafficking in Human Beings in Southeastern Europe," June 2002).

War provides a breeding ground for certain forms of sexual exploitation such as trafficking. Conflict also forces many women and young girls to prostitute themselves in order to make a living. Violence against women, particularly domestic violence often increases after conflicts.

For the first time, SAARC addressed the issue of trafficking only in its Ninth Summit held in Maldives, in 12-14 May 1997. The heads of state or government agreed to mention in its declaration expressing grave concern at the trafficking of women and children within and between countries, the heads of state or government pledged to coordinate their efforts and take effective measures to address this problem. They decided that existing legislation in member states should be strengthened and strictly enforced. This should include simplification of repatriation procedures for victims of Violence.

But poverty, lack of employment opportunities, elites, lack of consciousness, social discrimination between son and daughter, gender biased laws, incomplete and weak laws prevailing about trafficking in humans control, lack of political commitment for seeking problem solution are the root causes for the continuation and increasement of sex trafficking.

Women's problems are similar in many countries. Lack of commitment and policy implementation pose as obstacles in solving the crisis. But still why the governments have not been able to come out with concrete and effective programs to curb this problems.

Indeed, the governments and NGOs needs to act actively to abolish the practices of sex trafficking. Because of educating and providing opportunities for women, the governments and NGOs would be doing service not to the women alone but in checking the spread of disease like AIDS which might one day engulf the whole generation. Lack of education, awareness and opportunities has contributed to the rise of sex trafficking.


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