The Second World Congress Against The Exploitation Of Women And Girls was organized today at the India International Center in Delhi. The event saw a number of foreign delegates discuss problems concerning human trafficking and prostitution.

Catherine Coutelle, MP, Chair of Women’s Rights Delegation, France, gave an overview of the success they have achieved in eradicating the problem in France.

“We waited for the government to take action and later took the matter in our own hands. We have taken various measures to combat the problem. Providing those women with other opportunities to work, providing them with financial assistance to help them gain houses. Imparting quality education among their children is also one of our objectives. We also want sex-buyers to be penalized because they are the ones to be blamed. We have already managed to penalize 500 of them,” she said.

Gavin Shuker, MP, Head of all Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade in UK, said, “We are trying our best to take this issue to the international arena. This problem can be solved only when social attitudes change. It is time we start looking at such issues seriously. Decriminalization of prostitution must take place.”

Khushboo Chaudhary from Delhi University who also attended the event said, “The session was an eye-opener. I had a lot of misconceptions about the whole issue of prostitution. I used to think that human trafficking was a concept more prevalent in the African countries. But attending the session made me realize that sex trafficking is prevalent in India as well. In India, prostitution takes place under the garb of ancient rituals and traditions.”

Parul, another Delhi University student, said, “The event made me aware of a number of things I would have never got a chance to know about. One of the speakers talked about the Devdasi tradition. According to it, girls in some parts of South India are married off to a Goddess before they attain puberty. It gives men of that area the liberty to establish sexual contact with her. While laws to ban such traditions have been made, their lack of implementation is a big problem.”

Apne Aap is an organization working towards combating this issue.  Khushboo, working as a volunteer, gave us some insight into the work they do. “Apne Aap works mainly for the uplift of sex workers in Bustar, Bihar. They are expanding to other areas. Their main objective is to help the sex workers come out of the quagmire and live with dignity.”

The event was a vital step towards strengthening the issue of human rights and coming up with solutions to end trafficking.

Charvi Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV