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Children in the Sex trade
Transcript of Children in the Sex trade
"act of a female offering her body for promiscuous sexual intercourse for hire, whether in money or in kind, whether offered immediately or otherwise."
Now, imagine what would it be if we changed the phrase "female" to "child". "act of a child offering his/her body for promiscuous sexual intercourse for hire, whether in money or in kind, whether offered immediately or otherwise." This is the definition of child prostitution.
Many children are brought into the system by forceful means; kidnapping and conning being just a few. It is a shocking revelation that many poor families actually send out their children into the industry to help add to the family income. Many just send their children with people in the hopes of finding a job. Only later to they realize that they may never see their children again. Many are pulled in by people posing as lovers; they get sold of immediately after getting married. Most prostitutes don't want their children getting into the trade.
More than 50 percent of prostitution in India involves minors. Many of them not even up to the age of eight. Image forcefully losing your virginity before the age of 8. Imagine having to live with the trauma for longer than 70 years? Imagine contracting a sexually transmitted disease through no fault of your own. Child sex trafficking is a violation of many of the bare minimum rights that any being born as a human is entitled to.
Here are a list of basic rights that are violated: (taken from http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#atop )
1. All people are born equal. None are better or worse than another and they should all get the same rights
* Aren't the children in the industry children too? Don't they deserve the same amount of rights as your children or you?
2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights regardless of anything, age, gender, race, culture, religion......
* Just because children are young, and they may not understand what is happening does not mean that they do not have the right to the rights stated. Anything born as a human is entitled to these basic rights.
3. Everyone has the right to security, life and liberty
* EVERYONE has the right to security, life and liberty. These children never know when someone will get riled and kill them. They have no security. Their life has been taken away, they have absolutely no control over what happens to them and they definitely don't have the right to liberty. They are only allowed to do what their "madams" or pimps allow them to do and absolutely nothing else. Even if they do, by some miracle, manage to get out of the brothels, the society does not allow them to do anything.
4. Nobody should be held in slavery and servitude. Slavery and slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
* Isn't the sex trade a form of slavery? Encarta(Microsoft® Encarta® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.) defines "slavery" as being state of being dominated: a state of being completely dominated by another. The sex trade is a form of slavery. The children are not owned by themselves. They are not allowed to go out, are not allowed to do anything other than what their pimps say. Is this not a form of complete domination? Is this not a form of slavery?
5. No one should be subjected torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
* Children in the sex trade are subjected to both physical and mental torture. They get beaten, taken advantage of and they get harassed by the people around them. Even if they get out of the torture of being in the system, they get tortured by the people who disregard the people in the system. Even though they did not get the choice of being in the system or not.
6. Everyone has the right to recognition under the law
* Many of these children are not recognized under the law as they do not have birth certificates. When these children are not recognized, they don't have any space under the law, which seems to forget that the universal declaration of human rights are open to all and not just a few special people.
7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
* if there is meant to be no discrimination between people under the eyes of the law, then why is it that these children are practically raped(taking advantage of a person against his or her wishes) everyday and it is fully overlooked? In fact, the Indian government tries to hide all the offenses committed against small children.
8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
* This states that for all the above rights granted, one must also have the right for effective remedy.
* Once these children are taken out, they are not treated with love but they are treated as sinners for things they may not have known was a sin. The very people who took advantage of them might just disregard these children as they were once in the industry without even understanding what they had to go through.
9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
* One should not be subjected to arrest under the whims and fancies of someone. Isn't being confined into a brothel and following the whims and fancies of the pimps and customers a form of arbitrary arrest?
10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
* When these children face a problem and get the courage to go to court, they are not seen in the same way in the judge's eyes. As they're from the industry, most of the time, they are downtrodden and their viewpoints are not taken as they should be.
11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
* These children are held guilty of being forced into the trade even if they never ever had the choice as to what they wanted to be. They are downgraded by the rest of the society and they have no choice but to live with it.
12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
* The honor of the children are taken away by the way they're treated by their family, their pimps and the society around them
13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
* If the children try to leave India by any means and run away, the extended mafia tracks them down and brings them back to where they were in the beginning.
14. (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in the countries asylum from persecution.(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
* The children are persecuted on a daily basis by people whom they may not even know. Sometimes, they are persecuted by people they know so, they is this not a violation of the rights too?
15. (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
* As the children are considered to have been "used" they are usually not able to get married even if they manage to get out of the industry.
16. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
* The children are deprived of possession of all their properties even their own bodies. They are not even allowed to go buy items and all the make-up that they wear is usually owned by their pimps.
17. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
* Even if the children feel and know that selling their bodies is not right, they are forced into doing it and the freedom to conscience is taken away.
18. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
* They are not allowed to express their opinions. If their opinions are different from those of their pimps (for example if they feel like as though their job is not right or they are not payed enough) they are punished severely. They could be beaten up very badly, not given food for a week or just thrown out and become vulnerable to other factors.
19. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
* They are only allowed to associate with people who thier pimps allow and they are forced into the association of the trade.
20. (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
* They are deprived of basic rights, the Indian government does not care for them and they are not allowed to vote even when they are above the age of 18. Maybe becuase htey might not know what voting is.
21. Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
* They have no social security, they never know when something could happen that could potentially kill them will happen and even if they manage to get out of everything, they are not treated like as though they are children who need love and attention. Instead, they are treated as sinners.
22. (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
* The children do not have a choice as to what market they get to join; the street market, middle layer market or the up market. They do not even get the choice as to whether they want to be in the sex trade either.
23. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
* They do not get paid more than a limit no matter how many people they service a day, their day never ends (they service people day and night) and they are never given any holidays. Even when they have their periods. This is done to children who are usually not even at the age of 8.
24. (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
* They are not given an adequate standard of living. Sometimes, as many as ten people will have to stay in a single room which would be split into living quarters and working quarters.
25. (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
* None of the children are educated as they are usually forced to work. If this was open for the children, they would have been able to explore more horizons.
26. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
* Even if the children do know that there are rights set for them, they know that they are trapped in the industry and that their rights may not be realized if they are not rescued by raids done by NGOs and the police.
27. (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible. (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
* The children are not given a chance to exercise their rights and none of the reasons why the rights should not be exercised do not pertain to these children
28. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
* The parents of the children sometimes try to exercise the fact that they have a choice as to what type of education their child gets and the other privileges of being the guardian of the child.
As you can see, there are only 2 rights that are not being violated by the people in the sex trade. Are two rights enough to protect a tender child from the evils of the world? Statistics Taken from
- It is an illegal, underground business, and it is difficult to extrapolate the scale of the problem from statistics on arrests and convictions, because many victims don't come forward for fear of retribution.
- The definition of "trafficking" has been controversial. There was no internationally accepted definition until the signing of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons in December 2000.
- Although numerous small studies have been done on various aspects of trafficking, much of the research doesn't distinguish between illegal migration and people smuggling and trafficking a person against her will. Research that does focus specifically on trafficking often doesn't distinguish between individuals trafficked for sexual exploitation and those trafficked for forced agricultural work or other types of labor.
- In countries such as Lithuania, children as young as age 11 are known to work as prostitutes. Children from children’s homes, some 10 to 12 years old, have been used to make pornographic movies. (4)
- Girls as young as 13 (mainly from Asia and eastern Europe) are trafficked as "mail-order" brides. (4)
- Trafficking affects an estimated 1.2 million children per year, many of whom are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. (4)
* Approximately 400 children and youth are being sexually exploited on the streets of Winnipeg each year. (statistics include only visible sex trade exploitation).
* 80% of child sexual exploitation is hidden in "gang houses" and "trick pads".
* Thirteen years old is the average age that children reported their first experience of being exploited through the sex trade. Age range is from 8 years – 16 years old.
* 70% – 80% of adults involved in the sex trade were also first exploited under the age of 18.
* 85% – 90% of sexually exploited children/youth are female; 10% - 15% are male.
* 52% were sexually abused as children and 52% were physically abused as children.
* 81% were runaways.
* 33% were homeless.
* 72% were in the care of Child and Family Services.
* 93% had involvement with drugs and alcohol.
* 53% had used alcohol before the age of 12.
* Seven times is the average number of attempts individuals had made trying to escape or leave the sex trade.
* 44% have been treated for an emotional problem by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counsellor.
* 38% have attempted suicide.
* 63% failed or repeated a grade in school. 77% were suspended from school.
* Average education level is grade 8.
* 70% - 80% of children and youth exploited in Manitoba are of Aboriginal descent.
- There are estimated to be over 900 000 sex workers in India. 30% are believed to be children. Recent reports estimate that the number of children involved in prostitution is increasing at 8 to10% per annum.
- In one study of 456 sex workers in Mumbai who had been 'rescued' by police in February 1996, a fifth were under 18 years and two-thirds were under 20. The main obstacle in the cracking down on child prostitution for the police is the issue of rehabilitation and where to place and reintegrate all the children that they rescue.
- Parents or guardians dedicating their girls are liable to five years in jail and a Rs5 000 (approximately £71) fine.
- AGE: According to a madam in Kamatipura, the average age of girls supplied to the brothels in the last two years has decreased from 14 and 16 years to 10 and 14 years. A girl between 10 and 12 years fetches the highest price.
- AIDS: The fear of HIV/AIDS has increased the demand for virgins and children. Clients mistakenly believe that children have fewer chances of contracting the disease. Similarly there is the myth that a man can rid himself of sexually transmitted diseases if he sleeps with a virgin. Recent Indian Government statistics put the number of people infected with HIV at 3.5million, indicating approximately three out of every 100 Indians are now infected with the virus which leads to AIDS. Almost 9 out of 10 of those people are below 45 years old.
- TRAFFICKING: About 7,000 sex workers cross over from Nepal into India every year. 66% of the girls are from families where the annual income is about Rs5 000. They may be sold by their parents, deceived with promises of marriage or a lucrative job or kidnapped and sold to brothel owners. Between 40 - 50% are believed to be under 18, the age of consent in India, some are as young as 9 or 10 years old.
- RURAL ISSUE: Child sex workers are not confined to big cities. A survey in Bihar revealed that roadsidebrothels for truck drivers in the Aurangabad and Sasaram districtsoffered sex workers agedbetween 6 and 18 years.
What can we do?
Usually, a prostitute is considered a morally loose woman. What happens if she never got the choice? What if she never got the chance to learn morals? What if she was forced into doing it? One of the first problems faced by child prostitutes is that of society. If the child never had the choice and was forced into the trade, then, there is nothing wrong with his/ her morals. The largest mistake is the common misconception of people that once someone is in that trade, that person is "gone" forever. That is not true.
A child who has been forced into the system has no one. No one to teach, no one to love, no one to get love from. That child needs to be thought of as the victim of a large and widespread issue. That child needs to be treated with love and not to be thought of as a "gone case".
We can either contact an NGO which deals in such issues. Prerana, Childline 1098 and the Juvenile Justice Programmes are just a few of the many NGO's out there. As these children need to be taken with the utmost care, their family backgrounds will get checked correctly by the organizations. If the family is found as not suitable to tend to the needs of the child, he or she will be sent to a juveile care home. But, in a place like India, where laws are not enforced very well, it is well possible that being sent to the care home might prove disastrous for the child. One of the best ways to prevent from starting a worse chapter in the child's life is by taking care to make sure that the home is caring for the child and checking on the child regularly.
Another way we can help prevent child trafficking is by just by helping to increase awareness. We can help these NGOs, get in contact with schools and other places where people will be ready to learn about the issues faced by other children around the world. Then, help give funds to the organizations. It will be even better if one volunteers for the children. There can be nothing better than getting to know that even those children are still children. Even those children have bright futures, and that even those children could have been your children. Bibliography
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