Trafficking in Women and Girls: With Special Reference to Countries in South Asia

Dimension of the Trafficking Problem

As UNIFEM (1998:1) in a report rightly observed, “trafficking in women and children is a spreading and worsening global phenomenon. Millions of human beings are trafficked and exploited worldwide largely into global sex industry”. Trafficking is estimated to generate gross earnings of between 5 and 7 billion US dollars annually (UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, 1998:3). Undoubtedly, the problem of trafficking is increasing rapidly threatening the very fabric of the human civilization. The intensified economic globalization has increased the mobility of capital, commodities, information and people. The world has reduced to a smaller village in terms of accessibility and contact. The sex market has grown to operate in a global scale with increased sophistication and organized networks. And in this market are ending up millions of women and girls from poor and developing countries. Trafficking of women and girls is therefore no longer a ‘local phenomenon’. Sexual exploitation is no longer a matter of ‘traditional patter of women’s subordination’; it is rather an industry.


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