Harsh Truths and Standing Firm


 Quote : “This week, in Dublin, about 500 Amnesty International delegates from more than 80 countries will vote on a proposal on prostitution that would recommend decriminalising both the selling and buying of sex, as well as pimping and brothel-keeping. The supposed logic is that gender equality exists to the extent that prostitution is a consensual act, but also that buying sex from women in prostitution is an important human right for some men to improve “their life enjoyment and dignity”.

As somebody who has worked for several decades with prostitutes, I know exactly what “consent” means in the context of the sex trade. The vast majority of women enter it in the absence of real choices. Many are children – or were children when they first supposedly consented to it.”



The raging controversy, started by Amnesty International trying to decriminalise commercial sex trafficking, has caused activists to go up in arms. You can read the article in the Guardian about one such view.

The most vulnerable of victims are under age girls and poor women, lost in poverty, illiteracy, violence, victims of trauma/ victims of natural disasters / victims of  physical and mental exploitation. These are the souls without a voice.

Human trafficking, is a most organised crime. From the man/woman who visits the impoverished villages , like vultures preying on the lost and weak, these converge at the marked out houses. From the  “nice” woman/man  who hands over the money which “buys” the victim  from near and dear ones in the guise of advance payment for a decent job,  the driver of the vehicle of transportation, the manager of the place of temporary stay, the provider of  drugs and medicines used enroute, the pimps and brothels, the buyer who will buy and resell…the nexus of evil is very powerful and secretive. They use the latest technology for their immensely profitable trade.

Children, who have been rescued from harrowing circumstances, speak about “trusted” aunts/uncles who sold them off to hell. Rescued at 11 and 14, they speak of having gone inside hell holes at ages, as young as 5 and 6. It can happen to anyone’s child- the vultures do not discriminate between the meat on offer.

As part of the Anti Human trafficking trainings we are part of, I have listened to victims, speak of stories that make you wonder on the thin veneer of our sophisticated society. Fear and threat, torture and beatings, drugs and exploitation and finally HIV . A woman who escaped , grabbed hold of the same pimp who was bringing another young girl into a brothel , and dragged him to the police. ” You might not remember me,” she shouted, ” but I remember you every day of my life.” She had been 12 and a survivor of the earthquake in Gujarat. She cried as she spoke. Today she works for Antihuman trafficking, as a counsellor who knows no fear.

Yesterday, I read that Michelle Obama, in a speech, spoke of how if she could speak to her  own younger self, would tell her ” Never be afraid to ask for help.”

How poignant, I thought on reading that. The truth of her statement resonated deep within me. The context was irrelevant.

Lot of women, position irrespective, fall prey to evil, end up blackmailed, stalked, bedevilled, trafficked…the agony is a long chain.If only we could tell our young girls- Do not be afraid to ask for help. Courage is the strongest weapon you will ever have.There are only victims in the trafficking business. Rest of it is bestiality.Sweeping stuff under the carpets with sophistication, will still make the room stink.

Empower our girls, our women with choices of education, economic self dependence. Give them the right over their own bodies, minds and souls.And may they know that each of them deserve happiness, an inalienable human right.

Scavenger is the word used for the creature which feeds off another’s dead body.What should we call a human being who feeds off, on daily basis, a dead soul entrapped in a living body, screaming for mercy?

Good article, Guardian.


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