September 8, 2006
New Delhi – India has the dubious distinction of being a sort of 'all-rounder' in the sex trade. It is one of the very few countries in the globe that rank high as origin, destination as well as transit points in this murky business.
Among the others which are both major sources and destinations are Pakistan, China, Cambodia and, not surprisingly, Thailand.
This shameful fact emerges from State of the World Population 2006, a report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) released on Wednesday.
The report, which focuses on migration, lists trafficking as one of the greatest risks to women during the process of migration.
According to the report, though the trafficking industry's revenue is globally estimated to be about $7 billion to $ 12 billion, the traffickers probably netted an additional $32 billion from re-trafficking and from the labour of the trafficked victim.
Southeast Asia and South Asia, the report says, are home to the largest numbers of internationally trafficked persons.
In Asia, most of the trafficking takes place within or from the region, which explains why India, Pakistan China, Thailand and Cambodia double up as both destinations as well as source areas for traffickers.
India and Pakistan also serve as transit points for trafficking into the Middle East, according to the report.
Though the report does not give any precise country-wise data on trafficking, there are two different colour-coded maps showing destination countries and origin countries for trafficking.
The five Asian countries figure in the "high" or "very high" category on both counts. In most other cases, countries that are major origins – like Russia or Brazil – rank as "very low" or "medium" when it comes to being destinations.
Similarly, major destinations like the US or Japan report either low or negligible numbers of outward movement of sex workers.