What is Sex Trafficking?

“Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons” by using “force[,]… coercion, abduction, fraud, [and] deception” to control and exploit another person, including, but not limited to, sex exploitation.

– UN TIP Protocol

Sex trafficking is an affront against basic human dignity. It occurs in nearly every country, and its networks are formidable and difficult to investigate. According to the United Nations, there are between 27 and 30 million modern-day slaves in the world. These figures are usually under-reported and many victims are often kept hidden in the shadows, meaning that real, actual statistics are often elusive.

UNICEF reports that across the world, there are over one million children entering the sex trade every year and that approximately 30 million children have lost their childhood through sexual exploitation over the past 30 years.

The issue of sex trafficking has received increasing attention in India and around the world across the last decade, yet efforts to combat the crime remain woefully inadequate. Millions of young women and children are lured into forced prostitution within India and into India every single year. They are treated like expendable commodities until there is nothing left.

Some Numbers

The United Nations named India the worst place among all the G20 nations for a woman to live- behind China and Saudi Arabia. A women is raped every 22 minutes in India. It comes as no shocker then that India has approximately 13 of the 27 million slaves that exist in our world today.

  • In India, 3 million women are victims of trafficking although experts suggest it could be THREE or FIVE times higher
  • Estimates suggest that at least 40 per cent of trafficked victims are adolescents — 15 per cent are below 15 years of age while 25 per cent are between 15 and 18 years of age
  • The price of a woman can be anywhere between a mere 17 dollars to 500 dollars
  • The average price per sex act is 4 dollars
  • The average number of sex acts per day is 11
  • The average annual cost of maintaining a slave is $4763
  • The average annual revenue per sex slave is $16,705
  • The average profit margin is 71%
Source: Kara S., Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Day Slavery, 2009
The Issue