//Sex tourism finds market at religious places

Sex tourism finds market at religious places

New Delhi: Raising concern over increasing sex tourism, CBI director Ashwani Kumar on Monday said even religious places of the country are not spared by the menace.
“Most serious part is that some of the religious places in India and tourist destinations are getting affected by this crime (sex tourism and prostitution) which is a very serious thing,” Kumar said on the sidelines of a two-day seminar on ‘Organised Crime and Human Trafficking’ here.

“The alarming trend is that in the last few years sex tourism, especially child sex tourism, pedophilia and prostitution have emerged as the areas of crime,” the CBI chief said.

Terming human trafficking as the world’s third largest organised crime after narcotics trade and illicit arms trafficking, Kumar said India occupies a unique position in this illicit trade as it is a “source, transit and destination” of human trafficking groups.
“It (India) is therefore both a supplier and a consumer of this trade and this differentiates human trafficking in India from other countries. 85% of the people trafficked in India are trafficked for domestic market itself,” he said.
Kumar said the shutting down of dance bars goes a long way towards shutting an important avenue of consumption of trafficked children and women.

“Many of the intellectuals have questioned whether it (shutting down of dance bars) is justified. We in CBI think it is,” he said.
Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta, who inaugurated the seminar, said human trafficking is one of the gravest problems facing the country and it has to be dealt with extreme seriousness.
“The root cause of the problem is poverty, under development, unemployment among others. Therefore, we have to address the problem both socially and by enforcing law,” he said.
Gupta asked concerned government agencies, NGOs and corporate houses to extend their helping hand in eradicating the menace of human trafficking.

He said there was a great need to sensitise the society about the gravity of the problem and police should give more attention in investigations of any such cases.
The seminar was also addressed by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime representative Cristina Albertin and additional secretary in the ministry of women and child development Vijay Lakshmi Gupta.

PTI, May 11 2009