#India #Slavery #2018

#India #Slavery #2018

“Modern slavery is a crime where the most vulnerable men, women and children are abused for criminal profit, with many victims forced to live and work in squalid conditions for little or no money. They are controlled with threats and abuse and have no means of escape.” – Guardian

According to the Global Slavery Index 2016 compiled by the Walk Free Foundation – as many as 18.3 million Indians live in conditions listed as “modern slavery” in 2016, equivalent to the population of Netherlands, a rise of 4.1 million since 2014.

That means 51 out of every 100 people in India are at-risk of modern-day slavery – forced marriage, prostitution, bonded labor and domestic work – the form of slavery may vary, but the ruthless manner in which freedom is taken away is strikingly similar in all the above cases.

Facts and Factors

The Global Slavery Index 2016 stated – Modern Slavery is a deplorable state of living in which a person’s freedom is snatched away from him for the sole purpose of exploitation. Globally, around 45.8 million people are enslaved, while for India, the statistics have time and again suggested that it’s the breeding ground of the world’s largest number of slaves with figures in the millions.

Here are the 3 factors used to assess modern slavery amongst 162 countries from the index:

  • Prevalence of modern slavery
  • A measure of child marriage
  • A measure of human trafficking

[Modern slavery includes primitive practices like debt bondage, forced marriage, sale of children, sexual exploitation, trafficking and forced labor]

A Systemic Issue

According to the index, Asia-Pacific belt records the highest number of victims under modern slavery: approximately, 46% of human trafficking emanates from this region alone. In forced-and child-marriage, India ranks first, followed by Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Indonesia. The blame is to be given on gender inequality, higher levels of poverty, lack of education, and of course social stigmas and prejudiced ancient dogmas. Conflict and weak judicial system also exacerbate the practice.

As the reality unfolds, almost half of Indian women are coerced to marry, even before they turn 18, and a majority of them are repeatedly sexually abused by their husbands or even sold to the pimps later on. According to May 2013 study, mustered and published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, about 9000 married women were bought from Assam and West Bengal to supply into Haryana.

Child marriage is a massive human rights issue that has plagued countries across Middle East, Africa and South-East Asia.

The Best Defense

But of course, just like every cloud has a silver lining, the power of education proves to be a tactical weapon for shifting the marriageable age of young girls, eliminating gender gaps and curbing child marriage from the grass root levels. Along with other social injustices, like trafficking, sexual exploitation and forced labor. Since, families play a huge role in ensuring their girls go to school and enjoy a protected transition towards adulthood, they can’t be left behind. Along with the girls, their families need to be educated and involved in the solution. Awareness is the sole key to prolong the period of time a girl spends in school, and that needs to be practiced and promoted, mostly across the rural areas of India, where child marriage rates are still incredibly high.

Hope in Sight

To curb all forms of violence against women and child trafficking… and nothing else.

Missing has one ambitious mission; raising awareness against sex trafficking. As one of our initiatives, Missing Stencil Project takes a strong stand against ‘Violence Against Women and Children’. Backed by stencil artwork, interactive awareness sessions and NGO collaborations, the campaign has gained 9,532,553+ impressions across national, regional and online news portal. The silhouette represents the black hole millions of girls disappear into when they get trafficked. It is a silent argument we’re bringing to a public space so that people learn more about the issue and get one step closer to doing something about it.

The stencil kit is available for free on our site and allows anyone to join the movement to curb sex trafficking and #EndDemand. Get started today!

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