Monday, January 28, 2008

Trafficking in women.

Did you know that India is a major destination for trafficking in women and children? So says a UN report. The country is a source and transit point as well.

Globally, human trafficking is the third largest criminal business after arms and drugs. It is estimated that annually this activity generates an income of 7 to 12 billion US Dollars. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that the operators pocket an additional 32 billion USD when the victims are delivered at the destination.

I happened to look into this matter, on reading an article that is included in the January issue of Inside the Vatican. It is about the Italian nun, Sr. Eugenia Bonetti, M.C who is doing commendable work in the anti-trafficking field. What caught my attention particularly was the statement, “millions of women are trafficked in India”. It sounded exaggerated.

On cross-checking I found other sources endorsing the estimate. This involves men, women and children for work and sexual exploitation. 90% of India’s sex trafficking is internal according to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

However, Girija Vyas, Chairperson, National Commission for Women, is reported to have said, "All figures are rough estimates. But it's believed to run in hundreds of thousands."

Inside the Vatican says, “Trafficking thrives where poverty, economic disparity and lack of employment opportunities exist. Women make up 70% of the world’s poor and bear the heaviest burden.”

How to tackle the problem effectively? The INTERPOL wants improvement and increase in international collaboration and law enforcement. In India, the National Commission for Women has submitted some suggestions to the authorities.

Sr. Eugenia Bonetti, M.C. has inspired USMI, a coalition of 627 women’s congregations. It runs several shelters where the victims of trafficking are offered safety and help to rebuild their lives. Sr. Eugenia has also taken the leadership in launching an international anti-trafficking network, which is the first of its kind.

This good sister is on the list of Inside the Vaticans top ten people of 2007.


Also see:

Quick ways to make a difference

Savage Kerala


Guru said...

I would have thought that India is a source for i) trafficking in women ii) children iii) human body parts iv)child labour to supply designer garments to Western superstores, and destination forWest-resident Indian pregnant women to check the sex of the baby they are carrying, and get rid of the foetuses if they were of female kind.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Guru, that is an intresting comment.