Trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation is the worst form of sexual slavery. It is an organized crime that exploits human vulnerabilities. For decades the most vulnerable to be trafficked were the economically and socially disadvantaged but with the proliferation of internet even economically privileged sections of the society who are emotionally vulnerable have been trapped into situations of exploitation. Hundreds of thousands of women and children have been deceived, coerced or manipulated by fraudulent means and forced into sex slavery. It is hard to enumerate the number of victims but it is roughly estimated that 3 million women and children are trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and 45% of them are children.
VULNERABLE SITUATIONS LEADING TO TRAFFICKING
Most victims would have faced one or more option-less situation listed below before they are spotted by a trafficker. Based on internal analysis of thousands of trafficked persons who were admitted in Prajwala shelter a common factor that emerges is that of a ‘known person’ who starts the chain of traficking.
Escaping from severe domestic violence by husband
Desperate for a job to look after the dependent family
Desperate for emotional security and escape from current family situation
Desperation for materialistic luxuries and social status
Aspirations for fame and glamour
Sudden poverty due to nature disasters
Uprootedness due to politial and economic crises.
Sex trafficking is the third largest organized crime in the world after drugs and arms. There are several actors who participate in the crime in various capacities to drive the industry. Although there are bigger masters who rule the entire network, some of the key players at the lower level(which the victim can point out) and their roles are mentioned inline.