I saw the trailer for Taken 3 (2014) recently.
It’s the third in a series of successful movies released about a retired CIA agent named Bryan Mills. In the first film, simply entitled, Taken (2008), his teenage daughter was kidnapped to be sold into prostitution. By the end of the movie, Bryan was able to track her down and rescue her. As I snapped off the TV that night—I wondered, “Is this real? And if so, what happens to all the kids who don’t have an ex-government agent for a dad who can step in and rescue them?”
I began to read up on human trafficking statistics. What I found shocked me.
Worldwide, nearly two million children are trapped in the sex trade (UNICEF. State of the World’s Children 2005.).
It’s hard to wrap my mind around that horrible fact. Almost 2 million KIDS are trapped in sex trafficking. Right now. Sex trafficking is one of the big dangers facing young girls in India. Poverty can pressure moms and dads to make heartbreaking decisions. Some of them knowingly sell their daughters into a lifetime of prostitution. Some women and girls enter into a life of sexual slavery because it is tied into their religious tradition.
But other parents trust their daughters’ futures to adults who falsely promise to sponsor the girls’ education or find them a job as a housekeeper. In this article posted today in the Times of India, two women travelled to another city where they were promised employment as maids … but instead were both trapped in human trafficking.
And the men and women exploiting these young lives are making loads of profit. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “The United Nations and other experts estimate the total market value of illicit human trafficking at $32 billion-about $10 billion is derived from the initial ‘sale’ of individuals, with the remainder representing the estimated profits from the activities or goods produced by the victims of this barbaric crime.”
In some instances, the lure of income from the sex trade is strong.
In one interesting case, a woman tells of being excommunicated by her in-laws for bearing them three sons. They felt her inability to provide the family with girls (to work in the flesh trade) was a financial burden on the family. Tragically, many times, babies of prostitutes are later forced into the same lifestyle, perpetuating the cycle.
Trafficking is a monstrous problem around the world … especially in India.
With 14 million estimated slaves, India has more slaves than any other country, according to the 2014 Global Slavery Index. An article from Fox News reported in 2013 that “India is the epicenter of human trafficking … with 1.2 million child prostitutes.”