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Younger Girls Forced Into Prostitution in Economic Crisis: Conference

World  (tags: abuse, culture, crime, ethics, family, children, government, freedoms, law, rights, politics, society, safety, world, women, violence, sadness, 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', 'HUMANRIGHTS!', africa, asia, children, china, conflict, corruption, europe, HumanRights, hu )

- 1991 days ago -
Younger and younger girls are being dragged into prostitution because of the global economic crisis, a conference on women's rights was told on Wednesday.

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JL A (281)
Friday December 7, 2012, 3:36 pm

Younger girls forced into prostitution in economic crisis: conference
Wed, Dec 5 2012

By Belinda Goldsmith

LONDON (Reuters) - Younger and younger girls are being dragged into prostitution because of the global economic crisis, a conference on women's rights was told on Wednesday.

About 21 million people - or three out of 1,000 people globally - are in forced labor, meaning they have been coerced or deceived into jobs which they cannot leave, figures released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) this year showed.

The ILO said about 4.5 million of these, mainly women and girls, were victims of sexual exploitation and overall the human trafficking trade was estimated to be worth $32 billion a year.

Ruchira Gupta, founder of Indian charity Apne Aap Women Worldwide that works with prostitutes in 10 red light districts, said cuts in funding to women's projects had reduced the options open to women and girls other than prostitution.

"We are seeing the number rise in these 10 red light districts while the age of the girls is falling," said Gupta, adding the average age of female prostitutes in India was between nine and 13.

"We need to invest more in girls and women so that there are options other than prostitution, organ trade, or (becoming) child soldiers."

While the ILO figures suggested modern-day slavery has risen to a record level, the data came with the caveat that it was hard to estimate numbers as victims were often scared to come forward and there was a lack of records in most countries.

Rising poverty was blamed for driving more women into the sex industry against their will.

David Batstone, president and co-founder of anti-trafficking organization Not For Sale, said the global financial crisis as well as political instability created vulnerable communities at risk of exploitation.


"Where there is economic deprivation, without the rule of law to ensure the rights of people, they will be taken advantage of," Batstone told the conference organized by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the International Herald Tribune.

Batstone said his organization found that three out of every four prostitutes plying their trade from shop windows in the red light district of Amsterdam were now from economically desperate communities in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

One such prostitute, Tsvetelina Ivanova, from Bulgaria, said once women were forced into prostitution it was hard for them to break away if they had a pimp, and move into a more normal job.

"Even when you run away you have to go back to the same job. The only good part is that at least you might work for yourself," said Ivanova, who moved to Amsterdam in 2008 and after working for two pimps now works for herself.

Lawyers told the conference that laws may exist to combat human trafficking but there were "pitifully few" prosecutions in wealthy nations like the United States where it was often overlooked or in poor countries where some families sell their children into servitude.

"Trafficking of forced labor anywhere in the world is about exploitation in the fruit and vegetable industry, on fishing boats, in brickworks," Batstone said.

Britain's shadow foreign and Commonwealth secretary, Douglas Alexander, said cuts in government spending on foreign and legal aid were also undermining the fight against trafficking and limiting legal action by victims.

"This is a constraint in every one of our countries," Alexander told the conference. "It is making the situation worse for victims of trafficking."

The ILO study, released in June, said 56 percent, or 11.7 million, of people in forced labor were in the Asia Pacific region, 18 percent in Africa, and 9 percent in Latin America.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; Editing by Pravin Char)

JL A (281)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 8:37 am
You are welcome Jim. Clearly much more needs to be done and addressing the economics that contribute is one viable alternative. You cannot currently send a star to Jim because you have done so within the last week.

Marianne B (107)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 11:01 pm
Sadly this is not only overseas, but also in the USA. All governments need to put laws into place to protect our children. I still don't understand why an adult male would want sex with a 9 year old. This is so disturbing.

Rose Becke (141)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 2:36 pm

Les M (3)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 3:06 pm
if men didn't want girls, there wouldn't be a reason to force girls of any age into prostitution. we need to find out the reason men want girls and stop it.

. (0)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 3:23 pm
Noted & posted

greenplanet e (155)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 3:30 pm
Yes, this is an awful world for girls and women in many ways. The men should be prosecuted.

Lin Penrose (92)
Monday December 10, 2012, 12:47 pm
Noted, thanks J.L.A., Slavery of many types has been a nasty part of the human social activities for many thousands of years. Every place around the planet humans have migrated in numbers and needed resources. Slavery of others made gathering the resource(s) easier. Inexpensive labor, on demand sex, monetary improvements, control over others for physical and mental reasons too numerous to list. Prostitution of children - both genders- and adults is only one dark and shadowy aspect of slavery.

I'm sure there are other social creatures who have slaves, some species of ants for one.

JL A (281)
Monday December 10, 2012, 12:51 pm
Thanks for reminding everyone of the history and some of the reasons why such slavery continues to exist Lin. You cannot currently send a star to Lin part time because you have done so within the last week.

Past Member (0)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:39 pm

Stan B (123)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 1:51 am
Beyond heart-breaking. What a bloody, evil world we live in!!

Aaron Gallo (0)
Friday May 3, 2013, 12:48 pm
Lock up all the pedophiles in the World and THROW AWAY THE KEYS!
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