Thursday, 9 August 2007

An inside story of trafficking in women

An inside story of trafficking in women
http://www.hindu. com/2007/ 08/02/stories/ 2007080250520200 .htm

Smriti Kak Ramachandran

NEW DELHI: Exploitation of women is not limited to their trafficking for commercial sex market. The criminal justice system, which arrests more women than men, is an equally harrowing experience, claims a book on sex trafficking released in the Capital on Wednesday.

Authors Ruchira Gupta and Ruchi Sinha, in a handbook titled`Confronting the Demand for Sex Trafficking: A Handbook for LawEnforcement' point out that while victims of sex trafficking are putthough the criminal justice system, the perpetrators are allowed to goscot-free.Making a case for more gender-sensitive law enforcement, the authorspoint out how the existing laws can be used to fix legal responsibility on those who buy trafficked people.The book also cites examples of countries like Sweden, the Philippinesand South Korea, which have addressed the demand for sex trafficking as an effective anti-trafficking measure."Demand for trafficked people -- from end-users to those who makeprofit from the trade -- has become the most immediate cause forexpansion of the trafficking industry," said Ms. Gupta, who is alsofounder-director of Apne Aap Women Worldwide.Ms. Gupta, who has co-authored the book with Ms. Sinha, an assistantprofessor at the Centre of Criminology and Justice Studies, TataInstitute of Social Sciences, explained: "Providing services andinstituting preventive mechanisms has provided protection to vulnerable people but not detracted the traffickers. "Calling for increased vigilance and new laws to prevent traffickers from sourcing women and children from Nepal to Mumbai and Kolkata, she said: "They simply shifted areas of operation to Bihar, West Bengal, the hill States of the Northeast and Jharkhand in India because a demand for trafficked women and children continued to exist."The handbook claims that the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956, which penalises women for soliciting in public places is used more frequently than the Section which penalises traffickers, highlighting that trafficking is not a victimless crime.The book, which has contributions from several people and a forewordfrom UN Special Rapporteur for Human Trafficking Sigma Huda, claims that human trafficking is an organised and well-structured crime which is operated through a supply chain.A panel discussion on the subject moderated by P. M. Nair(IPS)whichincluded Girija Vyas, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, and Gary Lewis, Representative Regional Office of South Asia United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, and the author Ms. Gupta followed the book release.

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