Traffickers Rape, Beat, And Starve Indian Girls Entering Sex Trade

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A study indicates that girls are being put under great suffering before entering the sex trade so they may endure the type of work they will be subject to.

Child of sex worker hugs another child of sex worker in Kolkata.

Girls trafficked into prostitution and thrown into Indian brothels are being starved, raped, and burned until their spirit is broken, the International Justice Mission has concluded in a recent report.

After contacting survivors of child sex trafficking in the West Bengal capital of Kolkata where 44 percent of all human trafficking cases registered in 2016 took place, researchers learned that young girls are being exposed to starvation, rape, or violent beatings, making it impossible for any of them to stand up to their abusers.

According to the study, the girls are exposed to a “breaking in” period before being pushed into sex trade that, oftentimes, leaves them incapacitated. After that initial phase, they are then forced to see anywhere from seven to 18 clients a day.

“Traffickers are using the tactic of a ‘conditioning period’ to break the resilience of children,” the study’s co-author, Saji Philip, said. “Fifty-five percent of the survivors were beaten with objects and some were forced to witness murder of other minors. These are extremely violent and cruel methods.”

The report, which was put together by the charity International Justice Mission along the West Bengal state government, showed that more than half of the survivors had gone through a phase known as the “breaking in,” meant to condition the girls to withstand severe violence and misery once they enter the sex trade. During this period, girls are raped by their first customers, threatened, and physically assaulted.

Some cases involved children who were even burned with cigarettes, beaten for two weeks straight, kept in isolation, and even starved, being left locked in a room with no food for a 12-day period.

Other girls were told they owed their traffickers, and that since they had been sold to them, they had to stay and work until they had repaid the debt. Others were taught that their managers or hosts fed, housed, and clothed them, and that they had to work to repay them for the "hospitality."

According to one teenager from West Bengal who talked to International Justice Mission, girls were told “not to go against the customer’s word — to let them have pleasure and not to express our pain.”

“If they’re pleased, they would pay more,” she added.

This horrific report highlights the sickening circumstances girls still have to face to this day.

As awareness of sexual harassment increases in America, we’re reminded that girls are still being stripped of their rights in such a violent way that they’re left incapable of standing up for themselves and even breaking their silence.

Because these girls suffer so tremendously thanks to a culture that tolerates abuse against women, there has never been a better time than now to raise awareness to their plight.

 

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