“Equality Now has issued Women’s Action 30.1, India: The Demand for Sex Trafficking: Holding Commercial Sex Buyers Accountable”

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Government and NGO reports estimate that there are from hundreds of thousands to millions of women and girls prostituted in India, many of whom are victims of sex trafficking. The majority of women prostituted and trafficked within India are from”lower”(scheduled) castes and many are girls, some brought into the sex industry as young as 13 years old. The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in March 2007 raised concerns with India about the sexual exploitation of Dalit (“lower”caste) and tribal women trafficked into prostitution. India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource and Development when discussing the ITPA Bill 2006 in November 2006 itself drew attention to”the prevalence of caste and religion based prostitution”, noting that”traffickers were clandestinely using this route to traffic the girls into prostitution.”This exploitation of women and girls continues despite Article 15 of the Indian Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

The campaign calls on the Indian government to adopt strong measures to end the demand for trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation and provide viable alternatives to prostitution, as well as to address the issues of gender inequality and the discriminatory caste system that allow those most marginalized in society to be exploited for commercial sex. Learn more here.

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