Trafficking of Women
The trafficking of women for sexual exploitation is an international, organized, criminal phenomenon that has grave consequences for the safety, welfare and human rights of its victims.
Trafficking of women is a criminal phenomenon that violates basic human rights, and totally destroying victims' lives. Countries are affected in various ways. Some see their young women being lured to leave their home country and ending up in the sex industry abroad. Other countries act mainly as transit countries, while several other receive foreign women who become victims of sexual exploitation.
Gender Inequality and the Trafficking of Women
A recent study by La Strada has linked the trafficking of women with gender inequalities; "Poverty, unemployment and a cultural context in which violence against women is tolerated are among the most important causes of trafficking. Another important factor is the demand for cheap labour and services in female-designated sectors of work. As the UN Rapporteur on Violence against Women noted, ‘the lack of rights afforded to women serves as the primary causative factor at the root of both women’s migration and traffi cking in women [...]. By failing to protect and promote women’s civil, political, economic and social rights, Governments create situations in which traffi cking flourishes.’" [La Strada, 2008]
Trafficking of Women across the world
The United Nations estimates that 4 million people are trafficked each year, resulting in $7 billion in profits to criminal groups. Many countries have weak, unenforced or no laws against trafficking in human beings, often making it less risky and more profitable to criminal groups than drug or arms trafficking. With increased economic globalization, trafficking in women from poor to wealthier countries appears to be on the rise. Trafficking networks may recruit and transport women legally or illegally for slavery-like work, including forced prostitution, sweatshop labor, and exploitative domestic servitude.
Thai and hill tribe women and girls are trafficked to Japan, Malaysia, South Africa, Bahrain, Australia, Singapore, Europe, Canada and the United States for sexual and labor exploitation. Many women and girls are trafficked by international criminal syndicates and lured to Taiwan, Malaysia, the United States, and the Middle East by labor recruiting agencies and are forced into involuntary servitude because of the high debt owed to the agencies. A number of women and girls from Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam transit through Thailand's southern border to Malaysia for sexual exploitation primarily in Johor Bahru, across from Singapore. 5 Anecdotal evidence also points to an increase in trafficking of foreign migrants for sexual exploitation. Burmese, Khmer, Lao and ethnic minority girls/young women have been reported trafficked in border areas and into major urban centres and sometimes through Thailand to third countries such as Malaysia, Japan and destinations in Europe and North America.
In the Mewat district of Haryana (India) women are sold as sex slaves to men and then sold again in a ‘bizarre form of currency’. For many years now, girls (some barely in their teens) are trafficked from the poor regions of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, eastern Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal with promises of employment or marriage and are sold in this district. These girls are locally called ‘Paros’. A Paro literally means ‘one from Yamuna par’, i.e. ‘one from across the river Yamuna’. The number of Paros in Mewat is estimated to be anywhere between 15000 to 50000.
The Mewat region lies loosely in the North-Western states of Haryana and Rajasthan in India, and covers the districts of Mewat (Haryana), and Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur (Rajasthan). The region derives its name from Hasan Khan Mewati, a local chieftain, who had fought the Mughal ruler Babur in 1527. The region is extremely poor, and one of the most backward in the country.