Saturday, December 26, 2009

SHOULD PROSTITUTION BE LEGALISED? SHOULD SLAVERY BE LEGITIMISED…

You must have heard...
‘PROSTITUTION IS THE OLDEST PROFESSION’
‘PROSTITUTION PROTECTS ‘GOOD’ WOMEN AGAINST RAPE’
‘MEN NEED TO RELEASE TENSION’
‘MALE BIOLOGY IS DIFFERENT FROM FEMALE BIOLOGY AND REQUIRES MULTIPLE WOMEN FOR SEXUAL SATISFACTION’
‘IF PROSTITUTION IS DECRIMINALISED THEN PROSTITUTED WOMEN WILL BE SAFER HEALTH WISE’
‘WOMEN CONSIDER PROSTITUTION AS LEGITIMATE WORK’
‘PROSTITUTION IS EASY MONEY’
‘HIV/AIDS CAN BE EFFECTIVELY FOUGHT IF PROSTITUTION IS DECRIMINALISED’
‘CONDOM PROMOTION AND SAFE SEX PRACTICES WILL MAKE PROSTITUTION SAFER’

Well we hear these things on a regular basis…by some who claim to know it all and a majority of others who have absolutely no clue what they are talking but would like to parrot what others say as they consider it as a dominant view point. But what is the reality.
Is prostitution which is also called by many “sex work” a choice of millions of women and children... who think this is a legitimate option? Is it exciting and glamorous offering easy money and wealth?
Is prostitution a deterrent to sexual crimes such as rape?
Well maybe facts can speak for themselves...

SOME FACTS
• After prostitution was legalized in Netherlands it is estimated that between 1996 and 2001 the number of children in prostitution increased by over 300% going from 4000 to 15000 and that 5000 of these children were trafficked from other countries.
• Not a single country across the world where prostitution is legalized have reported even a marginal decrease in crime against women or children
• Most studies across the world with prostituted women indicates a high percentage of physical injuries/abuses and psychological disorders ranging from verbal abuses, traumatic brain injuries(TBI), post traumatic stress disorders(PTSD) and mood disorders.
• Following legalization of prostitution in Victoria, Australia although the number of legal brothels doubled the greatest expansion was in illegal prostitution and in 1 year(1999) there was a 300% growth of illegal brothels(Sullivan and Jefferys,2001)
• Most studies show that prostituted women did not choose prostitution among a range of options such as medicine, law, teaching, nursing or politics. Their “options” were more in the realm of survival for themselves and their children.
• Over 70% prostituted women and children across the world were initiated into prostitution when they were less than 14yrs of age.
• Not a single prostituted person can control any transaction in prostitution. The person must do what the buyer wants to do. Research across the world shows that most women in prostitution report being subjected to acts that include burns with cigarettes, slashes with blades, being tied to bedposts, bodily mutilated, gang rape, sadism and various forms of sado machoism.
• Most prostituted women and children have little or no bargaining power on condom usage. Reports from across the world indicates that men would not hesitate to pay more for sex without condoms.
• More than 50% of prostituted women in countries were prostitution is legalized reported in a study that they do not think legal prostitution made them any safer from rape and physical assault( Farley et al.,2003)
• As an exploitative industry prostitution is controlled by the procurer, pimp, broker and madams where the prostituted women has little or no stake in her earnings. Most studies report in the first 3yrs of prostitution the person is in a debt trap paying up for the cost of her procurement.
• Most prostituted persons are subjected to repeated abortions, substance abuse, alcohol addiction, recurrent STI and RTI and vulnerability of being physically and psychologically assaulted.
• HIV/AIDS, STD’s, Cervical Cancer, TBI(traumatic brain injury) and all forms of psychological disorders are the various health issues that can effect most prostituted persons.
• Discussion with over 500 prostituted persons revealed that customers would always prefer different kinds of sexual services such as anal or oral intercourse which a prostituted person may or may not like. With limited time frame most acts of sex would be violent and rarely the consent of the person was sought regarding the act.

How is it possible to protect the health of someone whose “job” means that they will get raped on an average once a day?
How can something that is dehumanizing and violating become a dignified choice?
How can male violence be legitimized?
Does any of the above said appeal to us if our own daughter or sister made a choice to become a prostituted person.
So how does something that is so distasteful for majority of us,be supported and sanctioned, all because we are too preoccupied to collectively work towards dignified options and our afraid to address the male demand?
Can we be party to legitimize sexual slavery?

43 comments:

  1. You're so right, Sunitha! Thank you for having the courage to speak out. No world where the most vulnerable members, including children and the economically vulnerable, are treated like this can call itself civilized. The horror must end. These children need to be offered education and opportunity, not brutal rape and assault. Society demands it. Human decency demands it.

    Anyone who mistakenly thinks they "need" to brutalize others to meet their needs is simply being taught that criminality is justified and evil is good. We owe it to men not to teach them this nonsense, as well as to their victims not to allow them to be treated as human refuse. The perpetrator is caught in this net of lies no less than the victims. There is nothing healthy or normal about using a helpless person in this way. It's degrading to everyone, to all children, and all families.

    All people who cherish their own families should fight against other people's children being used in a way that would make us weep and gnash our teeth if done to our own. The collective wrath of the good parents of the world must descend upon these abominable practices and wash them away.

    There are no words to describe how horrible these things truly are. Thank you, Dr. Krishnan, for making a stand for the victims, and giving them hope and a way out.

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  2. How can male violence be legitimized?
    Unless we are continuously living in a man world which can not be.
    Thank you for your post.

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  3. You are right Sunitha, even I was of opinion that Legalizing Prostitution would help these women, but you have pointed out the harmful effects of it..

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  4. Sunitha,

    I was one of those - knowing little and talking too much,before I chanced here. More than the facts, which have relatively less reference to why it shouldnt be legalised, the thrust is in your final questions - How is it possible to protect the health of someone whose “job” means that they will get raped on an average once a day? - That's the point, lady! Thanks so much, for letting me know it is the point!

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  5. sunitha ,

    Thank you for all those facts , this would support unproven fact that all sorts of crime like rape , murderers , corruption are due to two things the genes for the aberrant behaviour in humans and the societial circumstances fanning and waking up such behaviours in humans .

    Do you have any interviews or studies made on not the victims but the people who do such things ?

    That might help a bit on solving the problem , but there wont be generalised solution like making generalised laws etc , it would be case by case basis and we can classify such cases after enough number of case studies , until then we can just save victims but cant stop the doers !

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  6. Thank you Sunitha for sharing the facts with us! I am sure with the awareness that you are creating here, we all are motivated enough to spread it further.

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  7. I totally agree with Sanshank.
    We should not only focus on helping and rescuing the victims, but also we should start to teach and help the next generation to be mentally healthy and to not become brutal traffickers.
    I know it is very easy to say and seems a huge fundamental work to do, but at least we can have some hope and have a good point to start.
    Thanks Sunitha for your inspiring effort.

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  8. I want to say: Thank you for what you're doing. Read your article in Readers Digest and now after hearing your TED Talks Lecture, I am inspired. People like you who have the courage to dive into this world of madness without a care to themselves are very few today and we need all of them. Thanks once again.

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  9. Hi Sunitha, after watching your TED talk, and agreeing upon above comments I would say we might need to also consider what makes prostitution lead ? We are in a society where media plays a major role...we like movies where beauty is moreof about pleasure...then we consider women as objects of attraction, pleasure and finally weakness. The next generation should be given awareness that knowledge should precede beauty...man and woman are equal. After watching your talk, I thought what makes a person go to a prostitute or abuse someone. Its not a single thought but an amalgamation of uncontrolled thoughts which everyone collects over a period of time. We need to also enlighten ourselves, so we should start from the colleges where students are future citizens who become an important part of the society. You have mentioned we should change our view about these victims. I have forwarded your TED talk to my friends who think beauty, pleasure is a possession that can be bought for a price.

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  10. hai,
    sunitha..
    read de feature in vanitha magazne..
    i don knw wot 2 say,bt wot u r doing now is really gr8,uncomarable..

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  11. I salute you for your confidence, gutts, and the social contribution you do after all the experience of life, may god bless you and give you futher strength and support in life...

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  12. Hi Sunitha I came across the video on Ted Talk.. thanks to my friend.. I was really moved by whats happening in and around me and it is wrong.I am compelled to do something about it. Right now the situation i am in all i can do is think of helping Prajwala foundation financially, If you can give me more details as to how to go about it i would be more than happy to be of some assistance to your great work. Looking forward for your reply...

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    Replies
    1. Hope this helps http://www.prajwalaindia.com/howucan.html

      -Anoop

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  13. Dear friend
    Pl check our website www.prajwalaindia.com to find ways to support us
    Sunitha

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  14. Sunitha,
    I really apologize for I had thought "why not legalise it?" until i read your post. It was a real eye opener for me. I had hardly cared for things like this as it hardly impacted my day to day life. But not anymore. Thank you very much for your insight on this issue.

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  15. I feel really proud for donating towards your cause through www.prajwalaindia.com

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  16. Sunitha!You are so right.Legalising prostitution is nothing but legalising slavery as the person involved in that job ends up being abused or sick.Its total exploitation in the name of legal earning.No person would happily get involved in a profession like this.People like you make us beleive that god really exsist.Your work is greatly appreciated.Best wishes to you and the girls!

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  17. Hats off to you Ms. Sunitha! I respectfully salute you for what you are doing. I am moved beyond words and promise to act in my capacity.

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  18. Indeed any more posting of comments will not achieve a cause... If at all, it would be only at the cost of repeating what has already been said through past comments exceeding Sixteen. I've some experience of surveys and case histories. They often end up underscoring the in-built bias of the sponsoring agency and/or the Chief Investigator. I see no wisdom in collection of Confessions from victimization [or a calculated glory] of Sexual ill-treatment, for whatever validity they may have, since they don't amount to UNSHAKABLE EVIDENCE. I find it like a forced VERBAL/MENTAL re-living horrors of dehumanized life for ensuring a certain profession of Socio-political Scientists thrive. It is like adding insult to injury with a Dream called 'Rehab' at the fag end of one's active life. A tunnel with no light on the other side.

    The skewed Gender ratio doesn't validate women and children in 'forced Sex-trade'. A community may have sexual perverts as a fraction of its population, just as we have Birth defects, mental sub-normality and ailments. The crucial issue is as to 'How do they all congregate to propagate the trade RATHER THAN work against or for its eradication in a planned manner?'
    Laws are only the outer pealing while the centre is thrown open to Learned Lawyers' ripping every phrase/ comma/a proviso/footnote suiting their clients under the noble profession. Laws 2 or more are quoted often out of context and not having a commonality in their respective preambles. Newer laws are made and sent for Political corridor's approval in a thin time-frame.
    In case one finds a few success stories in struggles of Rajah Ram Mohan Roy or DK Karve, it is because the movements started under alien Rulers who were either out to change the Socio-cultural fabric or more likely, indifferent to the consequences.
    At the end of a hard struggle there are more cynics left behind than committed groups of activists. Our failure in controlling population explosion is proof enough to see the point.

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  19. Hmm.. your post reminded me of my ‘college social project’ where I and my team worked on this very topic “The Oldest Profession of the World”..
    Well.. our agenda mainly was finding out all the causes that lead women and children from the underbelly of our society to this line of work, studying the mental and physical trauma that they have to go through, the stigma and thus the strata of society that the we people ( the so called ethical people of the society) confer upon them, after-effects on their lives, the lives of their families and also the rehabilitation work taken up by the governmental and non-governmental organizations for their betterment..
    For this project, we had been to several NGOs and thus got a chance to come across several rehabilitated prostitutes who themselves were now working for their fellow beings who were still stuck up in the brothels..
    Because I did not want to limit it to a study project only.. we then decided to give them a possible solution through decriminalization or legalization of this profession..
    Though the facts mentioned above clearly hint that you believe that decriminalization will do no good to them and that the injustice towards them will remain prevalent.. after the entire study, my personal comment would be that by legalizing their work we would at least empower them with some tool and thus give them some say when it comes to matters of their living..
    If only our ‘andha kanoon’ will wish to look at them with open eyes, if the government will be willing to be cooperative, if the prostitutes will be enlightened about their rights and given the courage to speak up, then legalization will surely do at least some good to them.. the least we want to happen.. right??

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  20. Hi Sunitha,
    Thanks for enlightining me. I was nothing more than a parrot who thought it was right to legalise prostitution. I feel guilty that thought so without having full knowledge. The post is very educating. Hats off to your confidence and courage.

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  21. Hi Sunitha. I applaud your bravery and only wish I had half the courage that you do. Your talk on TED really left me shaken but there was something so positive about it when you spoke about the girls taking up jobs like welding which are assumed to be more suited to a male task force. I only realized the false positivism of legalized prostitution after I spoke to a girl who had been brutally raped (she nearly bit my head of when I suggested it as a solution and later revealed to me her personal history). Legalization does not mean humanization will automatically follow!

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  22. Sunitha,
    The work you are doing is really inspiring people around the world. I too,would like to do something. Maybe start something in my own city.I come from Pune. Do you have any branch here ? If no, then, from where should I start ?
    Atul

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  23. I am a student in Mississauga, Canada and I saw your TED talk today. I was moved beyond words can express by what you showed me and said. I am deeply inspired. I too was a victim of child molestation at a very young age, and I'm 19 today, but it still haunts me. I completely understand what you mean when you say "outrageous rage".
    I cannot thank you enough for doing what you are doing, and for asking people for acceptance.
    MN.

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  24. Sunitha ,

    Do you have any studies or interviews made not on the victims but the people who do such things ?

    This would help solve the problem

    Regards
    Sashank

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  25. Hi Sunitha,

    I came across the community work you've done and my warmest regards. Please continue on the good work. I agree with your points about prostitution issues but there are some counter arguments for you to think about:

    1. As the law is framed today, prostitutes/sex workers are more targeted and harassed than their customers.

    2. The evidence points to more and more women choosing this line of work due to socio/economic conditions rather than choice. Yet, there are women who consider it honest work and, if it is between two consenting adults, that relationship is technically legal.

    3. All negative opinions on prostitution have been due to the influence of religion and morality. I do not buy into the "oldest profession" argument. Yet it becomes evident that our morality stems from our narrow religious beliefs.

    4. You mentioned women trafficking and child abuse has increased after legalizing prostitution yet countries with stringent rape and prostitution laws such as Saudi Arabia still reports a large number of women and children being sold for sex slavery. Ultimately, the violence is borne out of the culture and practices of the land. For example, in the United States it is illegal to have sexual conduct with anyone under 17, yet it is legal after 14 in Netherlands. What we consider as child abuse is, according to their constitution, legal.

    I think the focus should be on violence and abuse against women/children. Legalizing prostitution may one day help in the local enforcement from discriminating aginst them. The subject should still be open for debate. Sorry for the long post.

    (PS: I am a heterosexual male, who respects individual liberty and choice and who respects my wife as an equal, and most convincingly, a better person than myself. I am sure that there are a lot of men like me).

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  26. hi sunitha

    any query call me 8087035800

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  27. Humans are getting more and more perverted.
    Man is evolving in a sick society. Humans are already slaves of this sick society
    We all are savage.
    Religions created the sex taboos and society accepts it.
    Sex is natural but they made it perverted.
    Humans need sex but what stops them from having it?
    No one can stop 'perverted' men from abusing women. It will keep on going. It is the society who is making them perverted. Instead of sticking patches we ought to understand and know why this happens? this misery, violence, torture.
    All this happens because of the monetary system and religions to go with it.
    EDUCATE YOURSELF..here are some links..
    http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHiuaGJ46zo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gKX9TWRyfs

    http://www.jkrishnamurti.org/

    http://www.thevenusproject.com/

    It is time for revolution..revolution for a new society...for a new cause..

    JOIN THE MOVEMENT...

    if i'm wrong pls reply..djraavanan@gmail.com

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  28. "As an exploitative industry prostitution is controlled by the procurer, pimp, broker and madams where the prostituted women has little or no stake in her earnings"

    Whole logic in in this line and all others things said are basically aftermath of this.

    One, who owns his auto has the freedom to drive where ever he wants and when to and when not to drive. But if one drives someone else auto, he will have to follow all the rules and regulation put by the auto owner.

    1.So problem is illegal immigration and human trafficking. This itself is illegal so why to relate to prostitution?
    2.Percentage is something which can not always reflect true picture. So if just one or two countries have legalize pros then %age will show only a narrow scale.
    3.Child Abuse is still uncontrolled. Children from other countries are illegally trafficked as a home maid but who knows each such home might be a brothel house.
    4.Brothel house is like a jail and it has no freedom. And like any jail its inmates are force to endure physical and psychological pain which eventually results into multiple disorders.
    5.whether you legalize or not, illegal things will keep happening unless you implement rules strictly and have a control on your system.
    6.Facts are good over here but there will never be stats which will show how many women are actually raped by their husbands. Societal dogma will still have a control on this.

    So problem is:-
    1.Exploitative industry prostitution is controlled by the procurer, pimp, broker and madams.
    2.Illegal immigration and human trafficking.
    3.Man driven society where women has less or no control.
    4.Brothel house. Whether prostitution is legalize or not but brothel houses must be banned. It should be like every neighborhood if it want can have its members to do whatever they want. Women should be like freelancer prostitutes and not a bounded member of a brothel. In case any thing goes that was not in MoU women should have right to sue her clients.
    5.Women should be given freedom and power to bargain (be it for use of condom, consent for money, method or kind of sex she wants etc.)
    6.Lack of open societies. Conservative societies will never be able to cope up with legalization of prostitution and hence such societies should never think of legalizing it.

    Solution:-
    1.Have a good legal system.
    2.Have good rules and implement them effectively.
    3.Have peer to peer type of prostitution in which no one other that client and female prostitute knows what is going on. This maintains privacy and gives women freedom to bargain. There should be absolute ban on brothel houses.

    So give women FREEDOM and POWER and this question of pros and cons of legalizing prostitution will narrow down and may be some unforeseen questions like exploitation of men by prostitutes will arise. If pros get legalized then may be one day someone will again raise this issue stating that it will be good for the sake of men that prostitution be banned.

    I feel if we just consider all this and demographics still PROSTITUTION can be legalized. If social,political and legal framework is conducive one can go ahead legalizing prostitution else I have a big NO NO NO NO NO NO for it.

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  29. I coudlnt agree more with the post by shailesh (March 27).

    The Blog bashes "How CURRENT legalizations of prostitution" havent worked. I havent researched how the current legalizations are.. but maybe it will take several decades to get it right.

    In theory, if consenting adults decide to have sex for money, and as long as nobody is harmed in the process, I dont see why it is a criminal act or anyone else's problem. Its the "abuse of the theory" thats a significant problem. Kill the abuse, not the theory.

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  30. I am afraid that I was one of these bad men that used the services of prostitutes for 20 years. I was heavily addicted to the services and your article here made me very sad. I am happy to report that getting on top of my inner pain and Jesus has helped me leave that addiction behind 5 years ago.

    I saw your video on TED and was moved by your story. I want to apologize to all those women who have worked in the industry. I was a client and used women sexually, never violent but still doing damage emotionally and spiritually to them.

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  31. Before going into any other argument let us answer whether we speak against or in favour of forced labour, child labour etc. that time we become sympathetic that the environment should be made conducive that they dont go for child labour. But here for the male pleasure we intend to legalize it!!!! what kind of justice is it? In country like Thailand where it is a licensed trade the king (a famous king of Thailand known as Condom king) puts a garland of condom and propagates awareness that it is for the safety of the people at the same time he knows it vrey well that repeated coitus with different partners enhances the probability of cervix cancer.

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  32. Hi!

    I did a post a while ago on my opinion on legalizing prostitution (a big fat NO). Am going to link in your post to that one since you have the facts on what has (or has not) happened in countries that have legalized it. Great post.

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  33. I am so sad that you have never met a whore who loves her job.

    If you ever want to go for coffee........?

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  34. They arrest & lock up people for cruelty to animals, so why does the law let these depraved men get away scot free? I for one (& I've been told off innumerable times for this opinion) am all for chemical Castration? Why is it that everyone gets soo shocked when this is offered as a suitable punishment against sexual abuse & rape?
    It is waaay less painless for the perpetrator than the grievous injury inflicted on the victim..

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  35. i am not a prostitute but still as a women myself, i salute you for ur bravery and ur out-spoken thoughts, frankly they are my thoughts too, have come across this in my life also, people who become ur friends may also act like one of these ill-mankind men!!!! but the women need to stand apart and fight with them too....nothing can happen when we stand as one....

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  36. Sex is a natural need of men. Just like food, water or clothes. Why trade is in such a basic need be declared illegal?
    It is sexual need of men through which men are enslaved. They are shown half clad women in advertisements to buy products. For this need, they are forced into marriage. For this they are tempted into various relationship with women at high cost to them.
    Making prostitution illegal is merely a tactics to increase price of sex. So that men will be robbed of fruits of their labour for mere sex.
    Legal trade in sex is required so that men can fulfill their natural need at a fair price.

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  37. Hmm,,I always thought that legalizing prostitution will be a solution. Kinda disappointed to know that there is no solution. None that will work and I feel for the victims. The abuse will continue no matter how hard you and I fight.

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  38. Madam Sunitha, Hats off to you and your work, Respect.
    May I also request and suggest you to work on the cause of trafficking. I think we are missing the perspective of "cause" of all this. To me once the cause is properly researched and understood, may be we all can live in a much secure environment. Once the root cause is known, we can tackle this menace in more surgical and fruitful manner. What I have read in this post, is mostly the effects of the trafficking. What you and your organization is doing is truly commendable, but to me, the next logical step should be getting into the root cause of this issue.

    Why I am worried is because of the below report available at -
    http://mahilaayog.maharashtra.gov.in/new/Booklet.pdf

    - “According to the data from the National Crime Record Bureau, in 2008
    Maharashtra saw an increase 0f 5.42% in the rate of cases of violence
    against women as compared to 2007. The highest percentage of
    increase was seen in the cases of molestation, which was a huge
    increase of 9.5%, followed by 9% increase in the cases of harassment for
    dowry. A discouraging trend was a 7.4% increase in the rape cases reported by women......”

    I suspect these disturbing trends will keep going up, unless root cause is not understood and worked upon,

    Best Regards,
    Dipesh

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  39. I am very much convinced that sex is not the reason people visit brothel or prostitutes. They are looking more of a pleasure than sex. This needs to be researched. I think it is when people going to brothel, paying for it, and don’t get pleasure that they become violent. May be pleasure is not the right word, it may be fantasy. If their fantasy is not fulfilled, customer may become violent. This can be tackled to an extent by proper training to prostitutes.

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  40. Rajesh Bothra was born in Mumbai 1968, in Marwari family from a Rajaldesar village in Rajasthan. When he was aged about 16. He decided to quit his further studies, because his ambition was to become an excellent businessman. After quitting his studies he decided to start his business. In Present days his Business is popular by brand name Mercury, which is sold and uses his product Worldwide by common people.

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  41. http://prostitution.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000772

    Prostitution is partially legal in India.

    wiki says so too http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_India#cite_note-1

    what ARE the arguements FOR legalizing...and also to what extent is teh legalizing being talked about here? Australia and France also have actually only 'partially' legalized in contrast to Greece.

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