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  • Writer's pictureNyayshastram

Forced prostitution and trafficking of girl child

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Abhishek Bhushan Singh

Child sex trafficking is one of the foremost evil and frightful crimes that happen against children. It is one of the crimes which is a major violation of children's human rights and an extreme life-threatening form of child maltreatment. Child trafficking is the crime that includes the buying, selling, or stealing of children for an individual’s own personal benefit. The illegal trade of children is one of the contributors to the extensive global problem of human trafficking. India is one of the countries which has a high volume of child trafficking. According to the National Crime Record Bureau report, one child disappears every eight minutes. , In many cases, children are taken from their homes to be bought and sold in the market. In other cases, children are tricked by the traffickers by giving them the opportunity of a job, but in reality, after reaching there they are sold. In India, there are many children trafficked for various reasons such as labor, begging, and sexual exploitation. The trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation is a highly profitable and low-risked trade for those who organize it, but it is harmful to the millions of women and children who are sexually exploited in slavery-like conditions in the global sex industry.

Child prostitution means prostitution which includes child and it is a form of commercial sexual exploitation of children. The term normally refers to the prostitution of a minor girl or the girl who is under the legal age of consent. Child prostitution is an illegal activity and it is recognized as the crime in India and many countries. Child prostitution usually done by the child trafficking the girl child are kidnapped and sold for the work of prostitution in the brothels and sometimes they are even sent to the other countries, these children are used for the sexual purposes and involve in the sex trade, or survival sex, in which the child engages in sexual activities to procure basic essentials such as food and shelter. According to research, about 10 million children are involved in prostitution worldwide. Prostitution is a discreditable evil of our country. Children are either voluntarily or involuntarily dragged into this evil profession. Poverty is one of the main causes that lead to prostitution. Other reasons which drag the girl child into this work are unemployment because of which they can’t afford basic needs to leaving a sustainable life, due to ill-treatment by the guardians, lack of sex education, bad company, to earn quick, to help the family financially, etc.

There are many consequences which the child has to face. One of the biggest problems that about 72.4% of children in this profession suffer from HIV. The other problems that these children face are mental sickness, anguish, disturbance, torture, pain, vaginal shredding, post-traumatic stress disorder, assault, and violence. The victims of child prostitution due to such effects are exposed to drugs and intoxication of drinks. They undergo higher risks of unwanted pregnancy and forced foeticide. Prostituted children are compelled to work in unhygienic and hazardous places, they suffer from poor health, malnutrition, abuses, and unhappiness, and because of such reasons, and they even attempt or commit suicides. Child prostitution doesn't only result in deaths and diseases among children but also infringes their right to life and dignity and their basic human rights.

All the member countries of the United Nations have committed to prohibiting child prostitution, either under the Convention on the Rights of the Child or the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography. There are various campaigns and organizations have been created to try to stop the practice. Article 34 of the Indian Constitution states that “the state shall protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse, including prostitution and involvement in pornography.” Article 23 of the constitution states that “prohibition of trafficking in human beings, forced labor and all forms of exploitation.” Article 39(e) and (f) states the protection of children from abuses and providing them with opportunities to develop. Section 372 and 373 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 provides for selling and buying minor girls for prostitution a criminal offense. There are many such constitutional enactments initiated to prohibit such activities against children such as The Immoral Traffic (suspension) Act, 1956 and The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986, The Juvenile Justice Act 2000, Indecent Representation of Women Act, 1986, etc.

Child prostitution is evil in society and it should be curb from society. People who drag children into such a dark world should be punished and strict actions should be taken by the government to break the chain of child trafficking.

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