– Bob Chiu (中文翻譯)
There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today, 80% of them are intended for sex exploitation and the rest are for forced labour. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.
Human trafficking is the third largest crime in the world after drug and arms trade. It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.
India is considered the hub of sex trafficking in Asia. About half of the world’s trafficked people are in India. Government statistics show that one child goes missing in every eight minutes. Big influx of male workers into major commercial cities has created a huge demand for commercial sex as does gender imbalance resulting from sex-selective abortion practices that have created a generation of young men who have little hope of finding female partners. To fulfill the supply all sorts of efforts are made by the suppliers such as abduction and luring of people from vulnerable caste.
Children especially girl and young women, mostly from Northeast are taken from their homes and sold in far away states of India for sexual exploitation and to work as bonded labour by the agents who lure their parents with education, better life, and money for these kids. Agents do not send these kids to school but sell them to work in brick kilns, carpentry units, as domestic servants, beggars etc. Whereas girls are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
There is no easy way to fix to sex trafficking in India. There are anti sex trafficking laws in India. The punishment ranges from seven years to life imprisonment but there is a huge gap between enactment and enforcement of these laws. Widespread corruption and bride also make it easy for agents to continue to thrive. India needs strong political will to fight corruption that gets in the way of law enforcement.
India’s firmly held caste system is a perfect breeding ground for human trafficking. Dalits are at the bottom of the Hindu caste system and despite laws to protect them, they still face widespread discrimination in India. Often also referred to as the “untouchables”, Dalits are labourers without land or businesses so they make whatever living they can from doing the most unpleasant of jobs. Indians from other classes are not allowed to touch the Dalits, they are not able to eat together. Dalits can not live as neighbours to members of other castes so they live in isolation in slums. When they do work, they are paid about half of the minimum wage.
The Dalits are most vulnerable to trafficking because they are dehumanized, and they are desperate. Most often it begins with Dalit families that are at crisis point, unable to support their children. Agents would travel to villages and target those families suffering the most, persuading them that this is their only choice. Once agents have bought the children they are sold to the cities and swallowed up into a highly sophisticated and well orchestrated trafficking industry. Girls are sold into prostitution and boys into menial labour. Without any education, or any rights as a human being, they live as slaves being used by men or to make things for the global supply chain.
The broken education system also plays a role in the proliferation of human trafficking. Even though India has the world’s biggest education system, it has low literacy due to poor enrolment and high dropout rates. With the lack of education, people have limited opportunities and low self-esteem. Living in persistent poverty, many vulnerable women and girls are lured by promises of employment and many parents are desperate enough to sell their daughters to traffickers.
India’s traditional discriminative attitude towards must also change. Strong political commitment is required to support programs that arouse public awareness and bring about long-term fundamental change to public view. Government resources are also required to focus on educating disadvantaged girls, giving them the skills to take control of their future.
Praying for India
– Bob Chiu
- Please pray for the abject poverty of many millions in India, especially among the lower castes. This has resulted in rampant suffering and hardships, thus creating numerous social evils like sex trafficking and child labor.
- The fast-changing political scene, with the nation becoming more and more intolerant towards Christians and other minorities, persecution is becoming more common, especially in provinces where the Hindu party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) holds majority. The BJP rules federally, and has a majority, singularly or through a coalition in 22 of the 29 provinces in India.
- Pray for God’s protection of His people and missionaries.
- Pray for His people to become more grounded in Christ in times of persecutions.
- The federal election is in 2019: Pray for God’s direction in helping form a government that will respect all religions.
- The burgeoning growth of the middle class, where millions have become more and more self centred in the pursuit of present worldly possessions and pleasures and becoming less interested in things spiritual. Pray that the emptiness in worldly possessions will turn the nation to greater attractions to a true God.
- The great need to raise more national Christian leaders who will carry on the work of foreign missionaries – Pray that many strong Bible believing seminaries will rise up to ground the leaders in the Gospel.
If you are interested in knowing more about RHCCC’s PEACE program in India or would like to participate in this ministry, please contact Bob Chiu.