Saturday, May 28, 2011

Five little girls are rescued

"It seemed that the brothel had purchased Raya just a week earlier, after her own brother-in-law tricked her and trafficked her. If the raid had been delayed by a few hours, she might have faced the first of many rapes." — Nicholas D. Kristof

IF YOU'VE READ Hey Look more than a few times, you may have noticed that at times I have included columns by New York Times op ed writer, Nicholas Kristof. I've become a fan because of his. 

In his most recent column, he wrote about participating in a raid to rescue five girls, the youngest of whom was five years old, from a brothel in IndiaThe first step in stopping human sex trafficking is shining a light on it, as horrific and ugly as it is. Here's Nicholas' story. I'm grateful to him for his courage and relentless advocacy of human rights.

Nicholas Kristof

Raiding a Brothel in India

By Nicholas D. Kristof
May 25, 2011

At the beginning, I knew only about a young teenage girl imprisoned on the third floor of a brothel in a red-light district here in Kolkata.

The pimps nicknamed her Chutki, or little girl. She had just been sold to the brothel-owner and seemed terrified.

Investigators with International Justice Mission, a Washington-based aid group that fights human trafficking, had spotted Chutki while prowling undercover looking for prostituted children. I.J.M. hoped to convince the Kolkata police to free the girl, but it would help to have more evidence that the girl was still imprisoned. So an I.J.M. official asked: Would I like to accompany him as he sneaked into the brothel to gather evidence?

India probably has more modern slaves than any country in the world. It has millions of women and girls in its brothels, often held captive for their first few years until they grow resigned to their fate. China surely has more prostitutes, but they are typically working voluntarily. India’s brothels are also unusually violent, with ferocious beatings common and pimps sometimes even killing girls who are uncooperative.

Unicef has estimated that worldwide 1.8 million children enter the sex trade each year. Too many are in the United States, which should prosecute pimps much more aggressively, but the worst abuses take place in countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Cambodia.

Click here to read the entire New York Times article.

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