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It is estimated that 16 million women are victims of sex trafficking in India a year; 40% of them are adolescents and children, some as young as nine years old. Over 70% of victims are illiterate and 50% report a family income of less than USD 1 a day. The victims are further plagued by low wages, exploitation by traffickers, customers and society, and reduced life expectancy. Dasra’s report Zero Traffick delineates a multifaceted approach to deal with this complex problem, using a 4P framework: prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership.
Trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation continues to be a significant issue in India, a crime that denies millions of women and girls their basic rights to liberty and education, and causes serious health problems.
To tackle the problem of sex trafficking in a holistic and comprehensive manner, the report recommends investing in systematic, centralized collection and analysis of data across stakeholder groups and geographical regions to understand the size and scope of the problem accurately. Then, it is important to strengthen institutional capacity and engage key responders to enhance its effectiveness. It is also essential to educate and track performance of key responders across all stages: prevention, protection and prosecution. Finally it is recommended to focus anti-sex trafficking efforts on the demand side, as reducing demand is a form of primary prevention.