Normally I restrict my posts to the Indian Criminal Justice system and 498A related issues. But the fact that paedophiles have found a haven in my country enrages me. Trafficking in women and children is a great threat to the well being of women and children in India. By not taking stringent action to put an end to this menace, the state is complicit in the exploitation of these innocents.
ECPAT and UNICEF estimate that approximately 4 to 5 lakhs women and children are traficked into prostitution in India annually.
It is a disgrace that govt agencies such as the National Commission For Women (NCW) and NGOs like CSR are doing nothing about this issue. These agencies and the Ministry of WCD get millions of rupees annually in funding from the government of India.
On the flip side, one has to remember that these agencies are very much a part of an establishment that adheres to the philosophy of symbolism over substance, which directly translates to the fact that fighting a dirty battle like sex slavery and trafficking of women and children is not a profitable or “sexy” headline grabbing venture, like the Pooja Chauhan episode.
One also needs to look at the fact that the women and children who are trafficked are from poverty stricken backgrounds and we live in a system where it is profitable to exploit the misery of the millions than to alleviate their suffering. After all, poverty is the worst form of violence that can be inflicted on an individual, at least, that is what Gandhiji believed.
Here is an judgment which is based on a situation that backs up my assertion. Policemen and politicians sexually exploited a poor and underage girl. The SC canceled their Anticipatory Bail granted by the High Court.
I just need to remind you, again about Nithari and the Pooja Chauhan episode to back up my assertion.
Googling has revealed that pedophilia in Goa has been highlighted as an issue since a decade.
The link to the Tehelka article is here: Sin In Paradise
A pdf of the article is here if the link goes dead: Sin In Paradise : Sex Tourism In Goa
(I created the pdf so that it is easy for the reader to print and disseminate. Full credit and all copyrights belong to Tehelka)
Here are some excerpts from the expose by Tehelka from 2004:
- The report goes on to reveal that “it is apparent that there are large numbers of children entering Goa from other states. The nomadic Lamani tribe from Karnataka has a large floating population which enters Goa during the tourist season. Numbers vary but the tourist industry generally agrees that there are between 15,000 and 20,000 in the season. A large proportion of this group consists of children under the age of 14. They are easy targets for paedophiles since they are, emotionally needy and materially deprived.” Goa’s Tourism Director N. Suryanarayana, in the course of Tehelka’s undercover operation, affirmed Wood’s assessment. He told a Tehelka reporter, who posed as a social science researcher from an American university, that the government estimates that 40,000 migrant children are vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Superintendent of Police Inder Dev Shukla also revealed that the police knows that migrant children are exploited by pederasts.
- The investigation reveals an interesting trafficking dimension to Goa’s sex tourism. “Disturbingly, there is a huge increase in the amount of young girls travelling into Goa from Andhra Pradesh (ap). There are two trains per week arriving in Vasco (Goa’s main railhead) from ap. At the beginning of the tourist season, there are approximately 50 girls (aged between 13 and 17), arriving on these trains each week”.
- Throughout the 1990s there were enough warning signs, but successive governments ignored them. It’s been almost a decade since Interpol declared Goa as the upcoming paedophile destination. In fact, six years ago the then British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook had warned at the second Asia-Europe (aesem ii) meeting in London that Goa is one of three areas in the world “worst hit by the evils of child sex tourism.”
- This year’s annual ‘Trafficking in Persons Report’ of the us State Department categorically asserts that India is a source and destination for children trafficked for sexual and labour exploitation. The report also says “India is a growing destination for sex tourists from Europe, the us and other Western countries.”
- This exposé is finally about failures of governance. According to the Goa Children’s Act, 2003, “The state shall ensure that the children and the young are protected against exploitation and that they are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. Childhood and youth shall be protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.” But the Goan government has failed to protect the children. It is also a failure of governance and administration at the federal level. It’s a national issue and must be dealt with seriously. All it takes for a foreigner to declare himself an ‘Indian inhabitant’ is a sworn affidavit on a Rs 20 stamp paper. This exposé is about the nexus of silence — of the fleet footed machinations that bind the police, the judicial officers and the immigration officials in one encompassing web of corruption. The government has only to launch a full-scale investigation and protect children from being exploited.
More articles and information are listed below:
- Child Sex Tourism in Goa-ECPAT
- Prostitution And Sex Tourism In Goa (ECPAT – 1995)
- ECPAT Report On India Status Of Exploitation Of Children In India
- A Situational Analysis of Child Sex Tourism in India
- Bid To Protect Children From Child Sex Tourism In Goa
- Goa Tries To Repair Its Reputation (IHT)
- Weekly Exposes Child Sex Tourism Boom in India
- The Sakshi Trust Guide To Filing An RTI About Missing Children