Child slavery (prostitution) By Lucia Pennisi 8 orange
Children forced to work for low wages or often none at all is referred to as ‘Child Slavery’. Many families have sold their children into slavery in order to repay debts or to earn money if they are short in cash. Or sometimes they even sell them off because they think it will be a better environment for them, but for most deals this is not the case.
Mumtaz feels no compassion for the girls, she enjoys punishing them. It makes her feel strong and lines her purse with many rupees. Mumtaz likes the lifestyle she can afford by having the girls work hard for her, she does not fear the police as they are corrupt and she can bribe them with the riches she earns by exploiting the young girls. Virgins fetch her the highest price of all, she purchases girls that are 11 years old and tells them to lie and say they are 12.
It is estimated 1.2 million children in India are still involved in prostitution as the government is corrupt. Prostitution is illegal in Nepal but not in India. This is why children are coxed across the border under the false pretences (ie; maid work). Even though the Indian government signed the "Immoral Traffic Prevention Act" (ITPA) which states that children under 18 cannot be confined to a house/bribed with money or gifts or influenced to provide sex- it is rarely enforced and police officers are bribed to turn a blind eye.
Older women or retired sex workers are taking it upon themselves to station and patrol the borders warning young girls of their fate in an attempt to make a difference. Socially the people of India are also distributing condoms to brothels and verbally educating young girls about STD/STI’s in an attempt to prevent diseases.
Hopefully over time and with more education the culture in India will change. While we are powerless to make a country enforce our own human rights I wish for the future generations for children to be treated equally and to grow up in a safe environment without exploitation.
Some action other countries can take to push for change is to sign petitions aiming to improve the treatment of children under 18. They can also donate to charities helping women to escape prostitution (such as ‘CNN Freedom Project’, and ‘www.destinyrescue.org/’), and to volunteer educating others about the facts and need for reform. I dream for a world where young children are free to grow and enjoy their childhood without the pressure of slavery, slave labor and sexual abuse in equally- in every country.
Girls being smuggled across the border for Brothels
Photographer Katie Orlinsky traveled to Nepal to document the growing problem of sex trafficking and unsafe migration.
Children working on the dumps in Cambodia
Sifting for food
Boy forced to work on cocoa farms
Boy lifting heavy bags full of cocoa beans