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Friday, January 2, 2009


Saibaba Origins


Origins and First Appearance
Nobody knew the parents, birth or birthplace of Sai Baba. Many inquiries were made, many questions were put to Baba and others regarding these details, but no convincing answer or information has yet been obtained. Practically we know nothing about these matters. When asked about HIS relatives and other details HE gave only one answer: 'From very long.'

Note: These words uttered by SAI BABA have been actually heard by the daughter-in-law of Mrs Bayaja Patal. She was a witness to the dialogue between Mrs Bayaja Patal and BABA who came for Bhiksha at Mrs Bayaja's place.

He first manifested Himself as a young lad of sixteen under a Neem tree in Shirdi for the sake of Bhaktas. Even then He seemed to be full with the knowledge of a Brahman (the only one Universal force or energy governing all matters). He had no desire for worldly objects and pleasures even in dream. He renounced Maya (delusion) and Mukti (deliverance) was at His feet. With His blessings many souls attained liberation by HIS mystic plays and without any 'formal' teaching or philosophical discussion. For all the seekersHE uttered only three words- 'ALLAH ACHCHA KAREGA' by way of HIS blessings. Everything will be fine by the GRACE OF GOD.

One old woman of Shirdi described Him as follows:
This young lad, fair, smart and very handsome was first seen under the Neem tree seated in an ‘asana’ (a Yoga posture). The people of the village were wonder-struck to see such a young lad practicing hard penance, not minding heat and cold. By day he associated with none, by night he was afraid of nobody. People were wondering and asking, when this young chap had turned up. His form and features were so beautiful that a mere look endeared Him to all. He went to nobody’s door, always sat near the Neem tree. Outwardly he looked very young; but by His action he appeared to be really a Great Soul. He was the embodiment of dispassion and was an enigma to all. Nobody knew HIS where about and HIS mysterious behavior (Leelas).

It is said that one day, God Khandoba at Shirdi possessed the body of some devotee and people began to ask Him, "Deva (God), you please enquire what blessed father’s son is this lad and when did He come".

God Khandoba asked them to bring a pickaxe and dig at a particular place. When it was dug, bricks were found underneath a flat stone. When the stone was removed, a corridor led to a cellar where cow-mouth-shaped structures, wooden boards, necklaces were seen.

Khandoba said, "This lad practiced penance here for 12 years." When the people began to question the lad about this, He put them off by telling them that it was His Guru’s place, His holy ‘Watan’ (inheritance) and requested them to guard it well.

The young Baba thus stayed on in Shirdi for a period of three years. Then, all of a sudden, He disappeared. After some time, He reappeared in the Nizam State near Aurangabad and eventually again returned to Shirdi with the marriage party of one Chand Patil, when He was twenty years old.

Return to Shirdi
There lived in the Aurangabad District (Nizam State), in a village called Dhoop, a well-to-do Mohammedan gentleman by the name Chand Patil. While he was making a trip to Aurangabad, he lost his mare. For two long months, he made a diligent search but could get no trace of the lost mare. After being disappointed, he returned from Aurangabad with the saddle on his back. After travelling four Koss (haifa mile) and a half, he came, on the way, to a mango tree under the foot of which sat a fakir (queer fellow). He had a cap on His head, wore Kafni (long robe) and had a "Satka" (short stick) under His armpit and He was preparing to smoke a Chillim (pipe). On seeing Chand Patil pass by the way, He called out to him and asked him to have a smoke and to rest a little. The Fakir asked him about the saddle. Chand Patil replied that it was of his mare, which was lost. The queer fellow or Fakir asked him to make a search in the Nala(small stream) close by. He went and the wonder of wonders! he found out the mare. He thought that this Fakir was not an ordinary man, but an Avalia (a great saint). A queer personality. He returned to the Fakir with the mare. The Chillim was ready for being smoked, but two things were wanting; (1) fire to light the pipe, and (2) water to wet the chhapi (piece of cloth through which smoke is drawn up). The Fakir took His prong and thrust it forcibly into the ground and out came a live burning coal, which He put on the pipe. Then He dashed the Satka on the ground from whence water began to ooze. The chhapi was wetted with that water, was then wrung out and wrapped round the pipe. Thus everything being complete, the Fakir smoked the Chillim and then gave it also to Chand Patil. On seeing all this, Chand Patil was wonderstruck. He requested the Fakir to come to his home and accept his hospitality. Next day He went to the Patil’s house and stayed there for some time. The Patil was a village officer of Dhoop. His wife’s brother’s son was to be married and the bride was from Shirdi. So Patil made preparations to start for Shirdi for the marriage. The Fakir also accompanied the marriage-party. The marriage went off without any hitch, the party returned to Dhoop, except the Fakir alone stayed in Shirdi and remained there forever.

How the Fakir got the name ‘Sai’
When the marriage - party came to Shirdi, it alighted at the foot of a Banyan tree in Bhagata Mhalsapati’s field near Khandoba’s temple. The carts were loosened in the open courtyard of Khandoba’s temple and the members of the party descended one by one, and the Fakir also got down. Bhagat Mhalsapati saw the young Fakir getting down and spontaneously accosted Him "YA SAI" (Welcome Sai). Others also addressed Him as Sai and thenceforth he became known as Sai Baba.

Upon His return to Shirdi, Baba stayed there for an unbroken period of sixty years, after which He took His Maha-Samadhi in the year 1918.

Initially, Sai Baba stayed on the outskirts of the village of Shirdi, then under a neem tree for four to five years at the spot now called Gurusthan, before shifting to an abandoned mosque which later became known as Dwarkamai.

Slowly His greatness was revealed and His fame spread far and wide, until by the end of His life He was attracting thousands of people to Shirdi. In the last decade of His life, Baba was worshipped with all pomp and ceremony and the mosque was likened to a maharajah’s ‘darbar’, yet Baba never changed His simple and austere lifestyle of the Puritans.


About Sai Baba


Sai baba Introduction

Shri Sai Baba is revered as one of the greatest saints ever seen in India, endowed with unprecedented powers, and is worshipped as a God incarnate. (SAI meaning Sakshaat Ishwar) - GOD THE ABSOLUTE

This mysterious Fakir first made HIS appearance in Shirdi as a youth and remained there throughout His long life. HE transformed the lives of those who met Him and continuously is doing so even after His Samadhi in 1918 for those whose hearts are touched by His love and who pray and call Him at any emergency in life for HIS blessings.

Baba stated that His mission is to “give blessings” without discrimination to all, and He proves it in myriad ways by healing the sick, saving lives, protecting the vulnerable, averting accidents, granting offspring, facilitating financial gain, bringing people into harmony within themselves and with each other and, above all, in effecting the spiritual evolution and transformation of those who came to him as the last resort.

Baba is, as one of His contemporary devotees put it, “The embodiment of the Supreme Spirit lighting the sadhakas (seekers') path by His every word and action”.

To His devotees, Baba is nothing less than a GOD. This has been a matter of experience and not imaginary. “I look at everybody with an equal eye”

An outstanding aspect of Sai Baba is that He is beyond distinctions of religion, caste or creed. He embodied all religions and preached the Universal religion of Love.

Devotees of all faiths find their meeting point in Sai and people from all communities and all walks of life are united by the great love and reverence Baba inspires in them. Baba had great regard for His Hindu devotees and their Gurus and He responded to their needs and permitted worship according to the Hindu and other religious rituals. At the same time His dwelling place was a Masjid (Mosque) and the name of Allah was ever on His lips. HE described Himself as in Service to GOD (ALLAH) and as a soul ever remembering ALLAH -(YAD - A - HAKKA)

People today flock Shirdi in ever-increasing numbers to pay homage to the Divine and to experience the truth of Baba’s promise that He would be active in answering devotees' prayers even from His tomb. Like Ten Commandments BABA has given eleven assurances to humanity for welfare.

Baba said that He was a slave in the service of those who loved Him that He was ever living to help those who turn to Him and that He has to take care of His children day and night. HE then taught values of total surrender to the Almighty Master (ALLAH MALIK EK- The only ONE) and experience his grace.

In coming to Baba’s Shirdi His children experience the truth how BABA unfailingly fulfils His commitments to HIS devotees by coming to their rescue in times of crisis.


Foot Prints...


One night a man had a dream. He dreamed that he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of Footprints in the sand, one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the Footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of Footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life. This really bothered him, and he questioned the Lord about "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of Footprints. I don't understand why, when I needed you most, you would leave me." The Lord replied: "My son, My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you have seen only one set of Footprints, it was Then that I carried you."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Child Marriage





Child marriage is a violation of human rights whether it happens to a girl or a boy, but it represents perhaps the most prevalent form of sexual abuse and exploitation of girls. The harmful consequences include separation from family and friends, lack of freedom to interact with peers and participate in community activities, and decreased opportunities for education. Child marriage can also result in bonded labour or enslavement, commercial sexual exploitation and violence against the victims.

Because they cannot abstain from sex or insist on condom use, child brides are often exposed to such serious health risks as premature pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and, increasingly, HIV/AID S.

Parents may consent to child marriages out of economic necessity. Marriage may be seen as a way to provide male guardianship for their daughters, protect them from sexual assault, avoid pregnancy outside marriage, extend their childbearing years or ensure obedience to the husband’s household.


Facts and figures


• Globally, 36 per cent of women aged 20–24 were married or in union before they reached 18 years of age.

• An estimated 14 million adolescents between 15 and 19 give birth each year. Girls in this age group are twice as likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth as women in their twenties.

• Marriage of young girls is most common in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In Niger, 77 per cent of 20- to 24-year-old women were married before the age of 18. In Bangladesh, this rate was 65 per cent.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008



CHILD TRAFFICKING IN INDIA

INTRODUCTION

Thousands of women and children are trafficked every day. Within the overall profile of trafficking in South Asia, India is a country of both transit and destination. There is a considerable degree of internal trafficking as well as some trafficking from India to Gulf States and to South East Asia. Sale of children and their movement across the state borders takes place within the country too. In other words, while there is movement of children through procurement and sale from one country to another, with India being both a supplier as well as a “consumer”, there is internal “movement” of children within the country itself - one town to another, one district to another and one state to another. It is undertaken in an organised manner, by organised syndicates or by individuals,
and sometimes informal groups. Relatives and parents are part of this as well.

Issues of sale and trafficking of children are also closely linked to issues of migration, especially illegal migration. Cross-border trafficking continues to flourish because the issue continues to be ignored by the nation states involved in it. There is lack of coordinated efforts to take effective measures to address this problem at the regional level, between the countries involved.

Individual countries - both civil society and government have been trying to cope with this violation of human rights. Laws have been enacted and international and national initiatives have been launched. This study attempts to look at the extent, causes, manifestation and the interventions made on trafficking of children in the country. There is very little reliable quantitative data on the overall problem of trafficking. This is because there is as yet no common understanding on this issue.

Almost everyone looks at and understands trafficking synonymously with prostitution. As a result, most of the studies, data and activity in the field of anti-trafficking work in the country have focused on trafficking for the sex industry and this applies to child trafficking also. The available information is in the form of news reports and stories published or highlighted in the media or those brought out by NGO initiatives. There is little or no systematic ocumentation on the other purposes of trafficking such as for entertainment, organ-trading, adoption etc. This documentation on child trafficking in India has been undertaken for terre des homes (Germany) – India Programme. It is based on the news clippings, journals/magazines brought out by NGOs, papers and reports prepared by 2 NGOs and UN agencies, donor agencies or individuals on the basis of their experiences and research, information downloaded from the internet, government documents relating to trafficking in women and children, legal/policy documents on human rights/child rights etc.

WHAT IS TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN?

The problem in dealing with this very complex phenomenon begins with its very definition. There is no single definition of trafficking. In the absence of a common understanding, it becomes difficult to design policies, guidelines or even interventions to tackle this issue. A broader understanding of the issue is that illegal movement of any human being in any part of the world is trafficking. There is as yet no internationally recognised definition of “trafficking in persons”.

¤ The preamble to the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (“Whereas prostitution and the accompanying evil of the traffic in persons for the purpose of prostitution are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and endanger the welfare of the individual, the family and the community, ...”) assimilates trafficking with prostitution. The Convention in its very first article makes trafficking punishable, defining it in terms of procurement, enticement or leading away of a person for prostitution or sexual gratification of another person.

¤ The United Nations General Assembly, 1994 (Resolution 49/166) defined it as-“ The illicit and clandestine movements of persons across national borders, largely from developing countries with economies in transition, with the end goal of forcing women and girls into sexually or economically oppressive and exploitative situations for profit of recruiters, traffickers and syndicates, as well as other illegal activities related to trafficking, such as forced domestic labour, false marriages, clandestine employment and false adoption.”

¤ At the World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, “trafficking” was taken to refer to the illegal moving and selling of human beings across countries and continents in exchange for financial or other compensation.

¤ The Global Alliance Against the Trafficking of Women (GAATW), on the other hand, defines “trafficking” as “the recruitment and transportation of (a) person(s) within and across national borders, by means of violence or threat of violence, abuse of actual or perceived authority arising from a relationship, or deception, in order to subject them to the actual and unlawful power of (an) other person(s)”.

¤ Another useful definition is that advanced by the Netherlands Advisory
Committee on Human Rights and Foreign Policy, “The traffic in person could be defined as transporting a person from one place to another in order to subject him or her to the actual and unlawful power of other persons by means of using violence or the threat of violence or by using a position of authority arising from a relationship or by misleading the other person.” Some other definitions are:


¤ “Trafficking is a question that belongs to the broader question of “migration”, nationality and the question of applicability of fundamental human rights to children and any individual irrespective of their religion, race, class, gender, colour or nationality” (UBINIG. 1996).

¤ “The recruitment and transportation of a person(s), within and across
national borders by means of violence or threat of violence, abuse of actual or perceived authority arising from a relationship or deception, in order to subject them to the actual unlawful power of (an) other person(s). An individual may be trafficked for various purposes, invariably ending up captive, in coercive and exploitative or commercial sex sectors, commercial servile, marriage etc.” (Sinha. 1997).


¤ Office of Drugs Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) of UN defines child trafficking as “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”

¤ The Transnational Training Seminar on Trafficking in Women, held in
Budapest from 20 to 24 June 1998, promulgated the following definition:
“Trafficking consists of all acts involved in the recruitment or transportation of persons within or across borders, involving deception, coercion or force, debt bondage or fraud, for the purpose of placing persons in situations of abuse or exploitation, such as forced prostitution, slavery-like practices, battering or extreme cruelty, sweatshop labour or exploitative domestic servitude. Ms. Calcetas Santos, the Special Rapporteur on Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography finds this definition to be the most workable, although she expresses reservations as to whether trafficking always places the victim in a worse position than that held previously.


Clearly, intrinsic to trafficking is the sale and purchase of children, as is their movement from one place to another or issues of migration especially illegal migration. The lack of concrete definitions of both sale and trafficking makes it very difficult in most instances to determine whether a particular transaction is a sale amounting to trafficking. There is therefore a need to examine what the understanding on these issues is to be able to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of trafficking.

Sale of Children

It is difficult to have a definition of “sale of children” since children are not, and should not be, legally and/or morally, the objects of trade or
commerce. The reality of such sales, however, proves the need for a definition. The traditional concept of sale is that it pertains only to property - real, personal or incorporeal - and that the consideration is always price in money. In order to gain a clearer perception of the meaning of “sale” in its commercial application, it may be useful to take a look at some definitions of “sale” in general. Black’s Law Dictionary defines it as “a contract between two parties, called, respectively, the ‘seller’ (or vendor) and the ‘buyer’ (or purchaser), by which the former, in consideration of the payment or promise of payment of a certain price in money, transfers to the latter the title and the possession of property”.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “sale” as “the transfer by common consent of the ownership of a thing or an interest in land, or in incorporeal property, from one person to another in exchange for a price in money”.
Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn, the first Special Rapporteur on Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, defined “sale of children” as “the transfer of a child from one party (including biological parents, guardians and institutions) to another, for whatever purpose, in exchange for financial or other reward or compensation” (E/CN.4/1994/84, Para. 31).
Ms. Ofelia Calcetas Santos, in her first report as the Special Rapporteur to the General Assembly (A/50/456, annex), defined “sale of children” as “the transfer of parental authority over and/or physical custody of a child to another on a more or less permanent basis in exchange for financial or other reward or consideration” (Report of the Special Rapporteur on Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, Commission on Human Rights. Fifty-fifth Session. 29 January, 1999. Para. 18). She adopted this definition in order to exclude transactions that are strictly on a temporary basis, as when a child is “rented” out, in order to obviate confusion as to whether the transaction constitutes sale or pimping, for
example. The confusion created by the lack of a clear definition of what constitutes the “sale” of a child has not helped the members of the working group on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in dealing with the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. One position taken by the negotiators is that a “sale” must be for the purpose of sexual exploitation; the opposing view is that it is dangerous to limit the definition of the term in that way.

Migration

While it may seem that migration and trafficking are distinct and separate, they are at the same time integrally connected. The pressing need to migrate in search of work creates a fertile ground for traffickers and unscrupulous agents to exploit this need and profit from it. In today’s world, trafficking cannot be seen out of the context of migration as the most common form of trafficking is ‘migrant trafficking’.
A line must be drawn between trafficking and illegal migration in that trafficking, as is currently understood, involves some element of involuntariness, either through deception, force or intimidation, whereas illegal migration often occurs with the free co-operation, if not the instigation of the illegal migrant. There are, however, linkages between the two activities. Contemporary developments have caused population movements due to war, persecution, and violations of human rights, natural disasters, or very poor economic conditions. A number of
countries have imposed more stringent measures for border control and entry requirements and have reduced opportunities for legal migration. Such measures, however, do not alter the demand in these countries for cheaper sources of labour in the informal sector which gives rise to irregular, trans-border movement. The process of ‘migrant trafficking’ occurs in at least two phases - recruitment and transportation, and confinement to the site of work under exploitative conditions; when a migrant and unsuspecting victim is recruited and/or transported and delivered to a site of work which is different from the one promised by the agent involved in it or, when such migrant is subjected to such conditions of work about which she/he had no prior knowledge and therefore did not consent to. A greater number of cases under this category are those that
fall on the borderline of illegal migration, smuggling of persons and trafficking. It is difficult to distinguish between the three as they have certain common elements. One common factor is that the ‘victim’ is invariably a ‘willing’ traveller, though it is well documented that the ‘willingness’ is based on a variety of reasons e.g. promise of a well paying job (which later turns out to be false), deception and fraud. (Sanghera. 2000). Chances are that these illegal migrants fall into bondage.


“The term ‘trafficking’ needs to be distinguished from ‘smuggling’, which refers to services provided in unlawful border crossing, while trafficking includes complex organisation of contacts”. (First Report of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights of Migrant Workers. April. 2000). From the above summary of working definitions of sale, trafficking and migration for trafficking, and the above discussion, there emerge some basic elements, which seem to be widely agreed upon. They include:

¤ Some degree of involuntariness on the part of the person being trafficked, either through the employment of deceit or fraud.
¤ Coercion or actual force, abuse of authority.
¤ Involvement of exchange of money or any other form of consideration.
¤ Subjection to situations of abuse and exploitation.
¤ Confiscation of travel documents, or debt bondage.


One question on which the above definitions are in dispute is whether trafficking for other than illicit reasons should give rise to criminal culpability and whether the situation of person is always worse than before? Trafficking of children for adoption wherein they may be adopted by a better placed family is such an example.

The Special Rapporteur Ms. Santos, firmly believes that, as in the sale of a person, trafficking of a person reduces that person to the level of a commercial commodity and is therefore inherently condemnable, regardless of the ultimate purpose for which it is carried out. Thus, the argument that in most cases of adoption the children end up in much improved living conditions, would not in any way justify the trafficking of babies and children. Another issue that still remains unsettled is whether trafficking necessarily involves movement or transportation from one place to another and, if so, if it has to be across borders.


STOP Child Trafficking- Save the children



India has been identified as a source, transit and destination point in the international circuit; large numbers of children are also trafficked within the country. According to a study conducted by Shakti Vahini in 2006, �Trafficking in India�, 378 of the 593 districts in India are affected by human trafficking. 10% of human trafficking in India is international, while almost 90% is interstate. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are the states from where the maximum numbers of people are trafficked to other states. Intra state/inter district trafficking is high in the states of Rajasthan, Assam, Meghalaya, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.



States like Delhi and Goa are �receiver� states. Trafficking of women and children from the North-Eastern states of India and the bordering countries in the north-east is a serious issue but has so far not drawn public attention. There was no evidence of trafficking in Jammu & Kashmir. Intra country trafficking has not been documented to the extent that cross border trafficking has been. However, Shakti Vahini conducted a study in 2006: �Trafficking in India�.



The study reports that 378 of the 593 districts in India are affected by human trafficking. India�s porous border with Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh are the major reasons citied for the prevalent high levels of children being trafficked every year.Children are trafficked for several reasons including sexual exploitation; adoption; entertainment & sports (for example, acrobatics in circus, dance troupes, beer bars; as camel jockeys); marriage; labour; begging, organ trade (though only anecdotal evidence of this is available); drug peddling and smuggling.


Trafficking of children usually happens through well organized networks. Family, relatives, friends, community leaders, brokers, the pimps and owners of brothels, the police, political connections and the criminal nexus: all or any of these have been found to be involved in the process of child trafficking.



LEGAL PROTECTION

Though there is an �Immoral Traffic Prevention Act� that exists in India, it only refers to trafficking for prostitution and so does not provide comprehensive protection for children. Nor does the Act provide a clear definition of �trafficking�. There is a UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (the Palermo Protocol) that will, when implemented, give a comprehensive definition of trafficking, but this has still not been ratified.


SAVE THE CHILDREN'S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGE


The UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (the Palermo Protocol) should be ratified to clearly define Trafficking and to cover all its forms.� Effective law enforcement agencies should be set up to work against traffickers and exploiters with appropriate redressal mechanisms and victim assistance programmes. � There should be effective monitoring of trafficking� There should be more coordination between the Ministries of Tourism, Labour and Surface Transport to combat domestic and cross border trafficking.

TRAFFICKING AND CHILD DOMESTIC WORKERS



Homes in urban areas employ �live in� domestic workers, the majority of whom come from West Bengal Bihar, Jharkand; or Orissa. �Agents� provide the links between employers and employees and it is reported that many of these girls are trafficked/bonded in connivance with their parents. The Government of Delhi in 2006 estimated that in Delhi alone there were 700,000 girls working in homes. Children are reportedly trafficked into Rajasthan from West Bengal and Bihar as child labour; and to Surat from Rajasthan to work in the diamond cutting industry. In Orissa, trafficking for labour is concentrated in pockets of districts in the coastal areas as reported in the CRSA.

TRAFFICKING AND CHILD MARRIAGE



Due to a demographic imbalance in Haryana (850 girls/1000 boys), men find it difficult to find a bride. The easy way out has been through a network of touts who help men, young old and widowed men to find wives from West Bengal, Assam and Bihar. An estimated 5000 girls were sold in the Mewat region of Haryana (Tribune 8 April 2004).

CAUSES FOR TRAFFICKING



Economic FactorsPoverty, often cited as a major reason responsible for trafficking in children, is not the only cause. Loss of traditional sources of livelihood, growing unemployment, forced migration, the commodification of children and growing consumerism resulting from globalisation have all contributed to the increase in child trafficking. The socio-economic situation and geographical location of the family add to the vulnerability. While both boys and girls are victims of trafficking, girls are more vulnerable, especially to trafficking for sexual purposes .



Cultural, Religious and Social Factors



Anecdotal evidence suggests that through the outlawed religious practices like the �Devadasi� and �Jogin� sytems, temple priests have used their position to traffick girls for prostitution.
Traffickers sell girls to the Bedia and Bacchara communities who live in Madhya Pradesh, and the border districts of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra and to the Rajnats of Rajasthan , families where prostitution is traditional means of earning a livelihood.
A myth that makes young girls vulnerable is the widespread belief that sex with a virgin girl will cure men of STD and HIV/Aids.



Geo-political Factors

India shares a porous border with over seven countries all of which is not fenced. With the connivance of border police on either side, it is not difficult to enter India. Political instability and economic compulsions are reasons for young girls from Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and even as far Uzbekistan, to be sold to traffickers. Trafficking from these countries is a one way route, �into India�.