Prostitution is one of the oldest trades in human history. It can also be very lucrative, which explains why women have been sold, deceived and pressured into this business for centuries.
Human trafficking is when victims are used for sexual exploitation, for bonded labor, domestic work, military
conscription, marriage, illicit adoption, sport, begging or organ harvesting (Combating Child Trafficking. UNICEF 2005).
By transporting people from their homes, often out of their original countries, traffickers make these vulnerable people even more vulnerable. They remove them from their social support networks and place them in an environment in which the language, customs and work patterns may be unfamiliar. Trafficked people are easy to manipulate and exploit because they are made to be dependent on others. This is why the sex industry likes trafficked girls. A trafficked woman who is prostituted, however, will almost invariably find herself in the very worst of exploitative situations (Sex Slaves).
Kolkata is the capital city of the state of West Bengal and is an epicenter for human trafficking and prostitution. It functions as a transit place from where Indian, Nepalese and Bangladeshi women who come to the city, either independently or through agents, are taken to red-light areas in other cities such as Bombay, or even to other countries in the Middle East." (Guilty Without Trial).
Economic depravation is one of the strongest factors in the lives of those who remain in Kolkata's red-light areas. It is often young village girls, who are predominately illiterate, facing family breakdown, and poverty, who are tricked or lured into the sex trade. They are offered a good job in the city or a marriage that will see them out of the struggles they are faced with.
Through supporting businesses that operate using fair trade and labour practices, we are taking a stand against the inequity of human trafficking. When these businesses grow, there is an increase in opportunity and freedom for human slaves.