Sunday, May 4, 2008

India: 15 Million Prostitutes

INDIA - According to Human Rights Watch, there are approximately 15 million prostitutes in India. There are more than 100,000 women prostitution in Bombay, Asia’s largest sex industry center. Girl prostitutes in India, Pakistan and the Middle East are tortured, held in virtual imprisonment, sexually abused, and raped. Girl prostitutes are primarily located in low-middle income areas and business districts and are known by officials. Brothel keepers regularly recruit young girls. Girl prostitutes are grouped as common prostitutes, singers and dancers, call girls, religious prostitutes or devdasi, and caged brothel prostitutes. Districts bordering Maharashtra and Karnataka, known as the ‘devadasi belt’, have trafficking structures operating at various levels. The women here are in prostitution either because their husbands deserted them, or they are trafficked through coercion and deception. Many are devadasi, dedicated into prostitution for the Goddess Yellamma.
An oft-repeated cause of prostitution is poverty. But poverty is not the only reason. The helplessness of women forces them to sell their bodies. Many girls from villages are trapped for the trade in the pretext of love and elope from home, only to find themselves sold in the city to pimps, who take money from the women as commission. The other causes of prostitution include ill treatment by parents, bad company, family prostitutes, social customs, inability to arrange marriage, lack of sex education, media, prior incest and rape, early marriage and desertion, lack of recreational facilities, ignorance, and acceptance of prostitution. Economic causes include poverty and economic distress. Psychological causes include desire for physical pleasure, greed, and dejection.


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