March 8th, 2011
11:28 PM ET

Fear accompanies road to freedom

Uttar Pradesh, India - Ten police officers barreled down the road, some on motorcycles, others in a jeep, their sirens left silent so as not to alert anyone. Their mission: to rescue workers from bonded labor, or debt slavery, in India.

But when they arrived at the carpet factory, it was empty except for a man inside.

It appeared that the police were too late.

As the man was questioned, officers outside discovered five children and a disabled adult who had been ushered out the back of the factory. Someone had tipped off the owner, police said.

The police took the group to the sub-divisional magistrate office, where the children reluctantly told their stories.

"We start work at 6 a.m., end at 9 p.m. at night," the smallest said. In return for 15 hours of work, they received a food allowance of just two dollars per week. “My father is dead. So I am working.”

Some of the children didn’t even know how old they were. Their lives revolved around the factory owner’s demands. Despite being in police custody, they were afraid to say anything bad about their boss.

One boy cried for his mommy, as the group was being taken to a safe house. His mother didn’t know where he was, he said. A relative had taken him across state lines to work.

Sub-divisional Magistrate Ranvijay Singh called the problem intractable.

“The main problem is poverty,” he said. “Because of poverty their parents are forced to send their kids to work.”

Until a year ago, work filled the life of 10-year-old Rajkumar.

"I was kneading the mud and made to work at the brick kiln," he said. Now instead of lugging bricks he lugs home books and dreams of his future.

"I want to have a job," he said with a big smile. He wants to work in a job that interests him and not be forced into a job someone else demands of him.

10-year-old Rajkumar goes to school now instead of working at the brick kiln.

Rajkumar’s village is one that is winning freedom from the practice of bonded labor, where people are enslaved by their debts.

His father says the family was enslaved for three generations to landowners who had loaned them money long ago.

“They would beat us, beat us with a cane. They would kick us. One day they hit me so hard blood came out of my mouth," said Rajkumar’s father, Mathuwaru, who can no longer do hard labor as a result. The women of the village have suffered even worse, he said.

“He has sexually abused our sisters and daughters,” Mathuwaru said of the landowner. “He would send us [the men] away, and he would come to our place."

Rajkumar

The villagers have filed a formal complaint with police. Their landowner denies the accusations.

The villagers said legal action would never have been possible, if they hadn't learned of their rights through non-profit organizations working to free entire villages.

“Our field team educates them about the law, about their rights. So at one point they become confident enough to tell the authorities that they are bonded. Then within the groups we try to get them to learn some skills, create some source of income,” said Bhanuja Saran Lal of the Society for Human Development and Women's Empowerment. The local non-governmental organization works with the international organization Free the Slaves to set up such informal education centers for children and adults.

In the case of Gyan Devi’s village, the center offered children a rare chance at schooling while giving their parents a forum to gain a fuller understanding of their rights. There, ladies also learned to make jewelry and sell them as far as the United States.

An education center offers rare schooling to children of debt slaves.

Lal says it takes at least three years to “free” a village, a difficult and dangerous endeavor. The organization’s workers sometimes face threats from landowners who stand to lose an army of free labor. Laborers also face difficulties: They have to live with the landowners and have nowhere else to go.

Fear still looms for many who have tasted freedom, as well as for those who have not.

“My landowner will not let me go,” said Poonam, a laborer in the crop fields for the village landowner. She went back to the fields to pick weeds.

Read Part 1 of CNN's Sara Sidner's report from India: Generations pay off debts through slavery


soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. judy tamarkin

    For real? 2011.end it and all oppression please g-d

    March 8, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Reply
    • Heath

      Agreed

      March 9, 2011 at 7:27 am | Reply
      • sam

        SHAME ON INDIA !!!

        March 9, 2011 at 10:50 am |
      • Justina

        Sam, it's everywhere, not just India.

        March 12, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • Mark

      Feel sorry for those people. INDIA at one place want economic growth and this is real face of India, what the Govt. is doing feeding teir Hindu Extremist Belly????? Why dont they see these people dieing of Hunger... and crushed like ants.
      Everyday a corruption scandle in that country and THIS IS WHAT INDIA IS? SHAME!

      March 9, 2011 at 8:53 am | Reply
      • ACF34

        Hindu Extemist belly!! Is that what you can come up with? This is the second term for the pro-evangelical Congress party and the PM has gone to record to say that it is the minorities who have the first share of the resources of the country. I guess there are poor/enslaved people in other countries because of the actions of the Christan fanatic belly and Muslim fanatic belly.

        March 9, 2011 at 11:29 am |
      • Vishnu

        Looks like you and Sara Sidner have discovered the real India just now. It would be preposterous and naive to say the least that India despite the economic strides it is making is not bogged down by illiteracy, poverty and challenges to over population. China, that is similar to India in population and economy, seems to have reined its population and in a better positioned than India. On the other hand India to has achieved reducing poverty levels and the fact that middle and lower middle class population forms the majority proves that the fruits of progress are slowly and steadily reaching lower rungs of society. But still because of vast population, there will ALWAYS be sections of people living in abject poverty. Better way to analyze Indian economy would be to do it based on figures that come out of next census as every 5 years Indian economy is expanding by more than 60%

        March 9, 2011 at 11:55 am |
      • Borscha

        Real face of India? What is wrong with you? Grow up and educate yourself first. Just because you read an article about a country that describes the shadier side of things, doesn't mean you associate the country with it. If that were the case, then there would be no country on earth worth living in.

        Sure India has it's fair share of problems, but do you really know everything about their way of working? Do you know about each and every single one of their policies? Do you know how to take care of a billion people? No government is perfect, far from it, but to condemn the entire country because of some bad apples is plain ignorance. Shame on you for being so short-sighted.

        March 9, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
      • Andy Atlanta

        LOL Your knowledge of India is the same as the guy in India who watches Jerry Springer and thinks that entire America is like that.....

        March 10, 2011 at 10:50 am |
      • MK

        You are stupid, Mark.

        March 10, 2011 at 11:20 am |
      • chen

        INDIAN gov. r worse people in the world , they dont do their work properly and likes to eat money only, shameless people.

        March 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Tyhouston

      Ok genius....
      How?
      There are always the poor. Underdeveloped countries. They already took a huge chunk of our jobs to better their country.
      This is where everyone who reads these stories need to understand... the world is NOTHING like America. People really suffer, are real slaves, have real issues in life.

      We complain with not enough bars on the cell phone and cry we are slaves because we have to work 9-5 for a living.
      That country is the only thing that can change itself. And trust me, why would they? Other countries don't build up debit like ours. They have orphans, let them work... oh oh no the poorest countries need to cloth and feed kids... right....My fear would be what would become of these kids if they didn't even have the work.

      They'd be dead or sex slaves in a year.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • James Heller

      This is a disgrace, and the CWC is running as though nothing has happened, I would like all decent human beings to stop supporting the CWC in support of these young poeple.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • John T.

      Hate to sound bad, but just wondering. If they are working to pay off there debt, and these organizations tell them they dont have to work to pay off there debt? Or they dont have to pay there debt back?

      March 10, 2011 at 8:17 am | Reply
      • Sam

        These are children 9 years to 15 years working 15 hours a day for some debts which their illiterate grandparents or great grandparents took years ago. These kids are paid in just food – two times a day. If you read the article, it says two dollars a week. The minimum wage -legally- is 4 dollars/ 9 hour day and child labor is prohibited.
        I am continuously amazed at how ignorant most Americans are about the rest of the world. We preach, but dont practice. We have a very sever superiority complex in us and see the rest of the world, the problems and the solutions through our tunnel vision. Debt and writing off debt are a normal practice in US. You are bitter about that and you squarely equated that with these poor bonded workers..read the article. No wonder US had slavery and we actually fought a civil war when some good souls up north tried to end slavery. Well the civil war was "fight for our right to our way of life". Bullshit. We are hypocrites of the worst order.

        March 10, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  2. Abhishek

    The people in the picture are from the lowest caste! and in shameless states like Uttar Pradesh such things are continuing in modern india! what a shame!

    March 9, 2011 at 12:15 am | Reply
    • Vivek

      Mr. Abhishek, please for god sake dont use your extremely limited exposure to give this story a caste angle. Poverty has no caste in India. I can say this after saying having travelled extensively in the hinterlands. I have spent years in Indian villages and cities. I am not a brahmin, but do you know the conditions of brahmins in many villages of Uttar Pradesh? Now please dont claim that you can tell the cast just by looking at someone's face. The problem is poverty and poverty alone. Dont talk like our politicians.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:59 am | Reply
    • Abhishek

      Hi All
      this is not a real picture

      March 9, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
      • garry

        hey Abhishek, if you can't face the realty don't comment, Look at these kids you think its face, same on you

        March 9, 2011 at 11:24 am |
      • Marz

        yes this is the real picture of india..still majority of people under poverty line and that is it is still a 3rd world. people travel now days ok so just cause u said it doesn't mean its true..i've been there and seen the actual picture which is very similar to this report. so dont be an ignorant fool and try to convey the actual message.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:28 am |
      • sanjay

        You are so right. It is even worse out there.

        March 10, 2011 at 7:34 am |
      • xxxxx

        abhishek u r not HUMAN , wt do u mean not real pic.u b not that position thn u will know if real or not , U shamless creature

        March 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  3. Loke

    IF INDIANS CANT SHED OFF THIS KASTE SYSTEM, WHICH DEPRIVE THE POOR and ENRICH THE LANDOWNERS, INDIA will never be able to catch up to China. I personally encounter a receptionist who is a Brahmin but she cant attend a engineer friend wedding because he is of lower caste. So what you worked in MNC as a receptionist whereas your peer from lower caste has more IQ than you and is an engineer. The engineer is percieved to be a lesser compare to her. WAKE UP 2011 already!!

    March 9, 2011 at 2:41 am | Reply
    • Vivek

      Loke, you wake up, I dont know which India have you experienced first hand. I know caste system is bad, and I am against it. But its not as bad as you are portraying it to be.

      March 9, 2011 at 9:01 am | Reply
      • Sendhilkumar

        Vivek,
        Loke is correct. It is a curse upon Indians and it doesn't matter what generation we are in. We may not witness people practising caste system in the "world" we live in. Unless we see the real world (where poverty prevails). I don't know who said this, but if at-least one person in the world sleeps in hunger, the day is meaningless. We see a lot of people spend their money in posh restaurants and people waste food in the same place where people die of hunger.

        March 9, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Mohammed

      I see in broader aspect than caste to me is corruption and ethics are major reason for this situation. Indians are declining in ethics and moral values which will result in selfishness. Recently in past few days I read about two lavish wedding which were done to just to show off their money and in one wedding well known actress had her show I am sure she might have paid more than 5 cr. I dont know who's money is this?

      March 9, 2011 at 9:50 am | Reply
      • Vivek

        Yes Mohammed, A large part of our problem is lack ethics and declining moral standards. Had that not been the case, Manmohan would have resigned by now. Sonia would have asked the government to release the names of all swiss account holders, Kalmadi would not have got a wake up call from CBI 6 months after Commonwealth Games, Congress would have snapped ties with DMK, DMK would have ceased to exist due to people revolting against it after Raja looted the country, Hasan Ali (the Pune stud farm owner) would not have been one of the richest guys in India, our politicians would have been millionaires at the most, roads would have been better, infrastructure facilities, education facilities would have improved, students would have got nutritious mid-day meals in the schools and probably CNN would not have required to run this story. I wish...........

        March 10, 2011 at 4:48 am |
    • shanti

      I belong to SC (low caste in India, due to Govt Policy, I somehow manage to be high level officer My husban is Brahmin. Till after 15 years of Marriage ( mother-in-law and other sibling depend on us financially) I cannot have food with them nor they will have the food i cook. Its true caste divide is too much here. For many many years the low caste are denied education by the upper caste, therefore due to poor education they multiply more and more and poorer and poorer we then reache the present situation in India. It will take a long time for India to come up. But Govt is trying many schemes .. let us hope for the best.

      March 10, 2011 at 9:02 am | Reply
  4. Sampath

    I've seen this story just before. The correspondent trying to give a different color for this story. And The question was in English, how the labor can understand what she asking?? However VO in English she can speak Hindi with a labor. Not only in India have labor, In Europe also have lot. India have good natural resource like coal mine and lots of mineral. On the location they work with that cloths and they stay there it self to save money(not to waste on transportation). If one person have problem with supervisor, It's not that every one has.

    Correspondent should need more guidance on research.

    March 9, 2011 at 2:52 am | Reply
    • Ambika

      @ Sampath , Do u know anything about bonded labour ?
      Being defensive wont help ! well if u dont believe this report ,there are hundreds of reports about this made by Indian media . Go read them !!!! Enlighten Yourself.
      Come to Tamilnadu ( one of the states that boasts of high literacy rate) , I'll show you.
      Go to Dharmapuri district and do some research. Bonded labour still exist in India.
      Thats the ugly truth.

      March 9, 2011 at 3:22 am | Reply
      • Arun

        I agree with Ambika, it's true that even southern part of India have this system in many rural areas and all the white collar folks asking "what can we do?", I simply said "nothing we can do except reading the stories".

        March 9, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • Chirag

      Sampath either you are totally ignorant or out of your mind i am an Indian and i know one thing India is only shining in the big cities you dont need to go far from a metro to see this happening all around us.

      one thing is to have a child labor law and its completely different to enforce it.

      I applaud the hardworking NGO's who are trying their best to stop this but without the will and backing from the system it will be many decades before this young boy will see India shining

      March 9, 2011 at 8:47 am | Reply
    • Marz

      yes this is the real picture of india..still majority of people under poverty line and that is y it is still a 3rd world. people travel now days ok so just cause u said it doesn't mean its true..i've been there and seen the actual picture which is very similar to this report. so stop being an ignorant fool and try to convey the actual message.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:47 am | Reply
  5. almond94

    Omg that is horrible, letting them work for $2 a week? At least $2 a day would sound more reasonable. How can they do this? I know its cliche of me to say this but I seriously think it is ridiculous. At least reduce the working hour for children below the age of 15 to maybe 12 hours a day.

    March 9, 2011 at 5:36 am | Reply
    • concerned

      "At least reduce the working hour for children below the age of 15 to maybe 12 hours a day."

      I do hope you're being sarcastic...children that age should be in school period.

      A 15hr/12 hr workday is very difficult for an adult to handle far less a young child.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:48 am | Reply
      • almond94

        lol, at least you spot it, but I come from a developing country and the government has provided free education and yet these some of them are reluctant and prefer to go out on the street beg for money.

        March 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  6. Frank

    They shouldn't collect a nickel, slave time is comming back, very happy to hear this

    March 9, 2011 at 5:43 am | Reply
  7. Frank Allotey

    The authority responsible should be able put measures in place to abort such an act in the respective countries.

    March 9, 2011 at 5:50 am | Reply
    • Suresh

      there is no interest from the authorities. they are happy as long as some 10% of the profits are funneled to their swiss accounts

      March 9, 2011 at 7:52 am | Reply
  8. Frank

    All of you blak motherfukkers prepare your blak asses, slave time is back and for free, God bless the USA

    March 9, 2011 at 6:00 am | Reply
    • U.S.armygirl

      Dear Frank
      I know that it pains you to know that slavery ended in America HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO. Get over it "it is what it is" I know your sore that Black Americans have probably more rights than you may, my condolences I know it must be disheartening. As for slavery and the abuse of children in the rest of the world it is unacceptable and goes against all social norms. So Frank if you feel sullied because you are not around your own kind you can always pack your bags and leave because last time I checked we were all brought here by some way or another and the people who were here first want their land back. Just think everyone Im over here risking my life in the sand box for Frank to speak his mind. **Awesome**

      March 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • Kathy

      That will never happen asshold. Black people are too smart for that. I can see that you are stupid, you can,t even spell. Come our way if you want, you,ll be the first to die! We have overcome and you don't scare us anymore. Wake up this is 2011. You are a joke!

      March 9, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Reply
    • Marz

      u fukn redneck ass hole...come out nd say it in public..can't wait to cut u up in pieces and feed them to pigs

      March 10, 2011 at 2:40 am | Reply
  9. debashis bhattacharya

    WHAT IS REPORTED IS THE FACT AND NOTHING BUT THE FACT. THIS STORY IS ALL OVER INDIA. CORRUPTION IS THE MAIN CAUSE OF THIS . INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD ACT AHAINST CORRUPT OF INDIA. OTHERWISE THERE WILL BE HUGE PROBLEM FOR ALL OVER THE REGION AND WORLD.

    March 9, 2011 at 7:23 am | Reply
    • NATE

      Well Said

      March 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • Keith

      India should act on this... there are enough people in India to make change. This is India's political and cultural mess. Don't ask the International community to do what India won't do for itself.

      March 10, 2011 at 11:31 am | Reply
      • Ikuo

        that as per new CBDT rules,a salaried eelmoype whose total income is less than rs.5 lakh, need not submit his IT return. But then,1. How will the tax payable be determined ?2. If it is determined on the basis of TDS , won't the tax amount be lesser as the TDS rates are less ?

        September 13, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  10. omoshowo olarewaju jude

    It's dishearten to know that people still carry out this unholy attitude around the world, the key word here is information and you can be inform or sort for information when you're educated,so they (the privilege ) deprive these people their right to education, they deprive them of life itself.
    Let's not fold our hands or give a deft hear to the cry of the less privilege, it start with,you and everybody around the world.

    March 9, 2011 at 7:32 am | Reply
  11. Suresh

    there is a big amount of cheating going on. every carpet factory in uttar pradesh has two companies. one without child labour where auditing are allowed and one with child labour where no auditing is allowed. this way, the greedy owners sell those carpets made by child labour to western world in the name of no child labour company.

    March 9, 2011 at 7:51 am | Reply
  12. @John

    these are the same carpets that we buy in our stores (in the US). next time you buy one ask and demand that it not from such manufacturers. We create the demand for cheap good and this is how the world produces to satisfy us.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:04 am | Reply
  13. Suds

    In context of India, there is more to this issue than the Western media understands. These so called slaves are mostly from the lower castes of the Hindu society. They have been brutalized and marginalized by the Upper castes for thousands of years. The same tradition still continues. Where else on earth would you see people carry human excreta on their head? All the physical work are performed by the so called lower castes. According to a recent BBC report, 450 million people in India has poverty level worst than the African countries. But who cares, not the upper caste Indians for sure. They are busy showing the side of India which only shows the prosperous side and not the dark side. Very unfortunate...

    March 9, 2011 at 8:06 am | Reply
    • bonku

      What you told is right but not the part that all upper caste do that, or so-called "lower" caste do not indulge in caste based hatred or violence. Majority of Indian are too superstitious about caste and religion. Even the lower caste people, who feel upper caste discriminate them, does not hesitate to oppress other lower caste (lower than theirs) people, they are ready to get their kids married to upper caste (while projecting how "caste-neutral" s/he is), but never agree to marriage with "more" lower caste partner. We have lots or example of caste violence among lower caste people.
      We all (irrespective of "higher" or "lower" caste) are using that caste card to show how "great" we (or our caste is) are and use it for political (we all know how) or monetary gain (in form of reservation in education and jobs), nothing more.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:18 am | Reply
      • Suds

        Yes, I agree. But I guess my complain is that it was the upper castes who introduced this nasty discriminatory system in the first place. And unfortunately the lower caste leaders who are coming to prominence e.g. Mayavati are no better than any of her political counterpart. I am not saying that all upper castes discriminate but that is the practice in the society in general. In almost all of rural India, lower castes live in small enclaves outside the main village. But the govt has to take serious initiatives to tackle these issues. Unless the education starts from the grass roots level, I do not see this problem going away anytime soon.

        March 9, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  14. bonku

    The problem is very deep in India. Our so-called "education" failed us miserably. We lost the ability to think and act in a logical manner. many Indians go abroad and buy degrees or live there for a long time. But I know majority of professionally well-established Indians (be it s "professor" or "Cxx") NEVER develop ANY sense of justice or honesty. Our education teaches ONLY few information/techniques and the art to satisfy our employers, but NEVER prepare ourselves to dream of a better society, to build a better country.
    No wonder India (along with China) is "among the LEAST innovative countries in the world". We actively promote corruption and crime; discard any honest person (from policy making and business), discard any real talent with mugging up and private tuition enabled technicians (we hardly produce any scientist or technocrats- even in our so-called "elite" institutes).
    Such documentaries do not have much impact on majority of stupid, corrupt and naive Indians. More pathetically many seem to justify and/or suppress such news. Many seem to be more interested in the "Image" for India than reality!

    March 9, 2011 at 8:10 am | Reply
    • Vj

      I could not agree more with you.....legendary visionaries are so rare these days and in a majority of fools, the people who mean well are lost.
      I don't see a time when India can be considered a developed country at least for the next 100 years...
      People fail to see that the core of India is rotting and only the cities show of a veneer of development. When my friends keep saying when I visit India...we got this ..we got that in India now. I feel sad. They don't see through the real problems. New paint on a broken machine will NOT make it work like new.
      A building without foundation is bound to collapse.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • Sam

      Very true. India is a land of extremes. And make no mistake 70 % of the population is poor and 40-50% tragically poor like the ones above. Poverty is bad, but worse is the social injustice, extreme corruption and authorities unwilling to act against the landowners , rich and privileged. So in addition to being poor, these people have no place to go when such things happen to the extent of the women allowed to be regularly raped.

      March 10, 2011 at 10:23 am | Reply
  15. Reg

    This slavery is caused more by poverty and the maffiosi taking advantage of a lawless situation. Caste does not really feature in this. These people lead tough lives, in some ways similar to what latino's face, but just that little bit tougher and poorer. It's good the Indian government has laws against it all, but unfortunately is short of law enforcers (honest ones, not those that tip off the bad guys everytime).

    March 9, 2011 at 8:15 am | Reply
  16. bonku

    We need more such stories in International media like CNN. People around the world need to know the actual situation of the "great Asian Tiger" portraited by Indian government and influential (and mostly highly corrupt) who controls India media. general Indian people are deliberately made naive and insane to get such information and/or act against the current situation. If anyone dare to raise his/her head, work for the people at the lowest strata of Indian society, as people like Dr. Binayak Sen does, govt and other rich and powerful people will try their best to cut such heads off, ASAP.
    If anyone want to know more about the burning issues of India and its causes and remedies one can follow BBC's Sawtik Biswas's articles: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/soutikbiswas/

    March 9, 2011 at 8:26 am | Reply
    • DivArl

      True. The more exposure these stories get the better it will be for the downtrodden in India. The amount of corruption that we hear about on an almost daily basis is simply incredible. The other side is the poverty that is very visible just past where 'India is Shining".

      March 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  17. Rocky

    A very sad and heart rending story, isn't it ?! Some readers have the wrong take – it has nothing to do with poverty or caste. It has everything to do with capitalism run amok. Capitalism works well only if there is regulation. In a morally degraded society where the police is so corrupt that they tip off the owner before the raid, this kind of exploitation is normal and has been around for centuries. The workers live in a country which has the largest stolen stash horded by politicians and businessmen in Swiss banks that is larger than any other country. Does it not say volumes? The problem here is dishonesty and lack of morality – especially among the rich. The rest of the filth seeps in as a result.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:27 am | Reply
  18. Abutu

    It is simply unbelievable that this level of inhumanity to man still exists in India. This should not be allowed to continue. The Indian Government must match its words with actions by bringing the rule of the law to bear heavily on any Landowner that is found voilating its laws on this inhuman practice. The Government should not stop at that. It should go ahead to create a ward/county into which any of the liberated slaves could live to pick up the bit and pieces of their lives. This ward should be named "Freeworld".

    March 9, 2011 at 8:51 am | Reply
  19. Raíla

    That kind of situation happens all around the world and it's just unacceptable. People should get together in order to repress anyone who collaborates with slavery and child labor. That's just way too sad.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:52 am | Reply
  20. Vijay

    Oh Hinduism, you cant change! Why cant Hindus reform the barbaric, stone age, meso-pagan system that celebrates horrid treatment towards the so-called impure–women, disabled, the poor, anyone not accepting the stupid caste restrictions of food and clothing? Time the world learnt the truth about the inhumane horror that is Hindu society! Who else will confine, beat-up, and deny treatment to the weaker?

    March 9, 2011 at 8:53 am | Reply
    • Abhishek

      caste system is not limited to Hinduism alone, it is practiced by Muslims,Christians,sikhs and Buddhists too!! and as a posters said earlier in his post even the lower caste people discriminate each other!!!

      March 9, 2011 at 8:58 am | Reply
      • Kumar

        @Abishek all the said religions treat men equal except Hinduism. it is no where written or said in their holy books that men should be divided into four classes. only Hinduism does that. it is a criminal act to classify people into hight caste, low caste. the criminal religion should be wiped of from the face of the earth.

        March 9, 2011 at 11:00 am |
      • Marz

        u r wrong about the fact that there are classes in muslim religion. i suggest that u educate ur self about the religion and clear ur misconception...

        March 10, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • Vivek

      Mr Vijay, I agree with Abhishek, caste system is not limited to Hinduism alone, using your flowery language is not conveying the message well. The problem of caste system is not limited to any religion. Backward castes of every religion get reservations in jobs and institutions, if they dont, they come out on streets.

      March 9, 2011 at 9:06 am | Reply
  21. Abhishek

    thats why Muslims in India have caste based reservation!

    March 9, 2011 at 9:05 am | Reply
  22. Suren

    India is a vast and diverse country. Yes, we do have caste system in some remote villages, and old habits are hard to die. However explotation of other human beings is opportunistic. I fail to understand what this has to do with caste system, it has every thing to do with corruption and turning a blind eye by officials to those who exploit the poor. Its time that Indian Government took a strong stand and weed out the old land owners who charge exhorbitant interest rates. Perhaps the Government should pay off these old debts or void then. We cannot have progress in India till we salvage the villagers. We must also work towards reducing the population and improve education in the villages.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:44 am | Reply
  23. bonku

    It is perfectly right to describe the current situation in India as a direct consequence of "capitalism run amok.". deterioration of Indian society increased exponentially after economic liberalization in 1991, mainly credited to our current prime Minister- Dr MM Singh. In reality that 1991 economic liberalization was NOT a well planned policy change BUT an acute necessity for the country which deposited all its gold reserve (to the Bank of England) to avoid defaulting on its international obligations and loans.
    Despite of opening up our economy and invited a huge influx of greedy industrialists and businessmen from India and abroad, we NEVER, EVER even attempted to reform our non-functional judiciary, law enforcement, civil administration, political system to handle our new found greed and sky-rocketing corruption. In present day India, majority of commodities (even the basic necessities) are sold at a price comparable to any developed country while only 1% of the population can afford that, more than 34.7% (as per Indian Govt report) of Indian people live below very poor poverty line, ~ INR 450 /month/ family,( i.e ~ $10) ; not per head. About 82% of Indian families survive with a monthly income of INR 2000 (~ $37).
    Extremist violence has a direct correlation with all these issues, besides fast growth of corruption, destruction of ALL the democratic institutions (including army).

    March 9, 2011 at 9:47 am | Reply
  24. bonku

    All the current "growth" in Indian economy came manly from routine BPO jobs (mainly in IT), and some manufacturing sector and Biotechnology. Success in ALL these sectors are manly due to -
    1. very cheap (and decently educated to do routine) labour force.
    2. Cheap raw materials.
    3. Lack of any meaningful environmental and labour law.
    4. Most importantly, lack of any functional corporate governance.
    Such industries and its impact on Indian society destroys the remaining few talents and independent thinking there. A person who could have been a great scientist or technocrat is now writing programs in a cubicle in B;lore and wasting his/her talent and life. A rational and honest is spending time as an unemployed youth and many are getting excited to join Naxal (Maoist) or so with a dream to change the situation and for personal revenge.
    Such economic prosperity that India was enjoying since mid 1990s and world media was advertising as "great success story of market economy" has a huge price for India (and also China) in the long run. BUT we are blinded with our new found financial prosperity that we have ignored the real price for that, as a country, as a society and most importantly, as a human being.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:58 am | Reply
  25. Claes

    What sort of monstrous sick people have children work 12-hour days without wage? Honestly, just take them out back and hang them or something... sounds harsch but I mean people do have to have some minimum amount of decency to deserve being treated as sentient beings.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:21 am | Reply
  26. Monmohan singh

    Dear Friends, India has never said it wants economic growth. We in India use metaphor left and right to explain things. All India says is : we want economic growth for our bonafide thieves. Our PM is a learned thief from the London School of Economics. All that India wants is to raise the bank balance of the Gandhi family and all the other bogus ba$tards who are taking India to the bottom. Something like Egypt is coming and these bahenchods should be hanged on 15th August 2011.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • bonku

      And then? Whom do you expect those "corrupt" people to replace with? Do we promote or groom honest people who have backbone and self-respect anymore in India? Such strong, honest people are becoming rarer and almost extinct in today's "incredible" India. And those few reaming ones are sidelined from any function of our society and we term them as "impractical" or 'mad". From the very beginning of our life as a child we are forced to believe that accepting corruption "as part of life" is a matter of "practicality"; cheating "less intelligent" and/or less powerful people is a great sign of "intelligence" and pride.
      No dear, we do not have suitable alternative to replace this 'corrupt" people, as many like you might think. Indian independence from British rule in 1947 was more than a "Egypt" moment, but we nicely wasted that. We already have replaced the lions to be ruled by the jackals. There is no way India can have its own Barak Obama in near future. Our ability to have one in long term future depends on how we behave now. Now we have to start grooming such lions, if we want a more civilized jungle in future.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • Ilayda

      Not a great keyword cichoe (mainly because most people cant spell it right!), but not bad either. Like Anuj mentioned above, people aspiring to be an entrepreneur may search using this keyword. The task in SEM is to not miss out any keywords even if it is not directly related to the website.

      September 11, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  27. bonku

    What do you expect if ALL the recruitments (starting from clerks, to students to directors/VC) in any educational and research institutes are filled up by virtue of political loyalty and/or money power? I personally know many instances where well knows, highly corrupt person was made VC, Director of national level institute. Even the current Director general of India's largest scientific organization, CSIR is a very unfit and corrupt person, as per many reports and publications in international media (mainly scientific). If anyone google "CSIR director CV forge", s/he will immediately know that the director of a prominent national level institute in Lucknow forged his CV and that is reported in CSIR's own website. I also know that the matter was refereed to Indian prime minister office (PMO), who is also in control of CSIR. But that director was not only went scottfree but also made director of another national level institute near Delhi/Mohali. Such incidences are so common in India these days. Even the recent ISRO controversy where a former director of ISRO is involved. ALL the VCs in ANY Indian university is recruited on the basis of his/her political loyalty and/or subservience to equally corrupt higher authority. What do you expect these idiots and criminals to teach their students, what type of future citizens that are capable to groom!
    That's why majority of Indians, irrespective of educational degree or professional success, do NOT have any sense of justice or honesty, even if they live/lived in a developed country. They never learn to respect laws, unless forced to do so. We all can see how a well-dressed, rich, seemingly 'educated" Indians follow laws when in EU/US but the same person abuse almost every law in India! They (almost all Indians) feel a perverted sense of pride when they break laws. It gives them the feeling to feel like an "elite" (as 'elites" hardly follow rules applicable to other people; since ages)
    What can we expect from such people? We always blame others (be it politicians, police or British or Americans or so) but never accept our own responsibility and start taking steps to make India a better country (e/g simply by opposing corruption and uphold honesty in my own small area of existence).
    Is that so hard and so "impractical", if we really feel ashamed when such documentaries are published in CNN?

    March 9, 2011 at 10:33 am | Reply
  28. Kumar

    India shit shit shit human shit everywhere. ther use hand to wipe of their bottom after dumping and then use the same hand to serve food.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:36 am | Reply
  29. hunteer

    poop on a big hairy stick

    March 9, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
  30. bonku

    If interested to know more about India and a excellent analysis and probable remedies, one can read the blogs I came across sometime ago. http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/

    March 9, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
  31. weasel

    Ah the ideal of Scott Walker and the republicans.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:30 am | Reply
  32. Free mind

    I feel sorry for those people, but it is of their own making. If I know my life is miserable and I can barley feed and support myself, why would I bring more creatures into this world to share the same misery? No one is forcing those people to multiply faster than rabbits. India is the second most populous nation on the planet, and incidentally is one of the poorest. So what do they do about it? Nothing, they keep multiplying and fouling the planet and hoping for miracles to happen. The time of miracles is long gone. And what you plant is what you harvest, nothing more, nothing less.

    March 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • bonku

      Do you suggest a patient to cure itself? Or do you take him to a doctor and cure him first. Then teach him how to protect against such illness?
      Does India EVER interested to educated such people with basic primary and secondary education reform? NO. Do you have any clue why (besides usual excuses of "corruption", politicians etc)? It is mainly Indian middle class and so-called "elites". We are too obsessed about meaningless, productivity-less, accountability-less "higher education" and "research".
      Have any Indian government (which is NOT controlled by those poor people) introduced any practical and legal ways to control population growth? Do you know why?
      Keep in mind that such population growth is in the best interest of many people, including our politicians, industrialists and local businessman. and those people are the main beneficiaries of our so-called independence, economic liberalization and so on. We just use those poor people for our own purpose, hardly can think for them or for the country (even if we ourselves pay a heavy price for that in the long run). Think about it.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
      • Free mind

        You are twisting the facts here. It does not take a PHD degree to figure out that if your income is $10 (for example) and you have 2 people to feed, then each will get $5, but if you are having a family of 10 people, then each will get $1. In other words, you created your own doom, not the government, not the rich. That is our fundamental problem: our psychology, we always think it is somebody else’s fault. It makes us feel good to know that we have no power to change things. It is always the government, the weather, the rich, the poor, god, or my neighbor. No one say it is my fault and I will do something about it. We blame others for our own faults to justify our selfishness and laziness. Yes the government has to act, but mainly if the people do not want to change then very little can be done. If I am so poor that I can barley find food for myself, why would I produce 10 or even 15 kids?

        March 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  33. Kudrat

    When I watched the video it breaks my heart to hear the child cried for "ma ma". How can any real human be so mean as to put innocent children to hardship instead of educate them.

    March 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  34. IR

    This is not the first time such stories published in the news. This sort of life in indian subcontinent is common. The reality of the problem is corruption involved with law enforcement agencies. If the victim wants to lodge complaint against the powerfull persons in India, police as a law enforcement agency at the primary level do not encourage at all. They want to be bribed havealy or else no complaint, no action + punishment from the land owners / culprits.

    March 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  35. USSlave

    The day money was invented, that very day slavery was born.. Slavery exists everywhere in the world. But by different names. Sex slaves, human trafficking, Debt as in US etc. Not only humans even governments are slaves. US is a slave of China. That is why many of US policies favor China. That is why US jobs go to China.
    Atleast people in India have ethics to pay off loans of their parents by some means..in US you just file chapter 11 and go free..
    World has resources to feed everyone. We do not need money to feed people.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  36. Wilson Peters

    The West led by US often down play the negative images for India but exaggerate that from China. Not because India is better but because it is more strategically useful for US to contain China. So I dont believe anything that US says blindly.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  37. James (USA)

    I live in the US and on a study project to learn about poverty and crime, we once visited Camden NJ, Trenton NJ and Brooklyn NY. Believe me, what we saw there was nothing compared to what is reported here. Young kids, all school drop-outs, were doing drugs openly in the streets. They had weapons on them and they said they steal stores and small retail shops. On being questioned why they don't study and give up these crimes and bad habits, one the kids parents got up and pointed a weapon at us and said that as we were on a study mission, we should not come and preach things. We were literally kicked out with a warning never to return here and of course, as one would have imagined, we were not allowed to click pictures or record anything.

    So my advice to CNN is to first look inside their country rather than poking into other countries. We have our own tons of problems and here CNN wants to go and help other countries giving out money, while we live in debts and poverty.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  38. Katie

    Let's invade India, save everyone, bring them all back to the USA and put them on welfare so the rest of the working class can support them..

    It's what we're doing for everyone else....

    March 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Reply
    • Ceej

      I like your sarcasm... Caste and creed existed during the time Monarchy prevailed, we've gone past those times but we still haven't changed the way we think... Believe it or not, it's even the educated who still think and act that way...

      March 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Reply
    • Marz

      hahahahahaha....very well said Katie. i like ur perspective of this issue.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:05 am | Reply
  39. bonku

    We can make this world a much better place in mainly two different ways. The first one is to make (or expect) everyone be become honest. Ancient Indian philosophy preached that. And it has been proved ,time and again, that it never works, even at a basic level.
    The second one is to make everyone selfish and provide them the tools to protect its own, personal interest. One person must not be tolerated or allowed to invade other's interest. Western civilization used this tool (mainly since industrial revolution). As a result Western governments praise Gandhi (MK, not Sonia or Rahul), name roads after his name, quote him whenever possible, but hardly follow him when own interest or survival is at stake.
    Indian history, mainly since 1100 AD, proved that even if you like peace, chant the mantra of peace the whole day, does not guarantee "peace". We have to EARN peace, deserve to have "freedom". Those are not free at all. We need to learn and be able to speak the language those invaders of peace and enemies of universal justice understand.
    The best and most practical way is to make everyone selfish. The duty of the government is to make that clear to its citizens and provide tools for that.
    In this era of more free information spread (at least in countries like India, unlike China) people will eventually come up with their own solution and that will not be such a great day for any of us.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  40. Mr. Davidson

    Look closely ,for this is where we are heading ,the bankers in India think this is beautiful ,free labor ,US bankers see no difference ,these photos may be your future America.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  41. Firial

    wow, is this article about Muslim's??? Does it matter where the poverty is???? Does it matter what race these human beings are?????? These people need help, shame on people when they love to blame others for problems that are happening ..........poverty is real and its happening all over the world.....As human beings we must help people no matter what race they are , does it matter????? I am so confused with your response!

    March 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  42. Zod

    India=slum

    March 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Reply
    • Listen

      Zod=Idiot.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Reply
      • Marz

        Listen= arrogant + full of shit
        Zod= totally correct

        March 10, 2011 at 3:08 am |
    • Human

      @Zod
      People who think bad about others or think they are above others, always bite the dust which american is doing today. For the records, am neither Indian nor American nor I know if India=slums but I know for a fact that today, american is heading towards poverty with its huge debts whereas Indians are enjoying and having good jobs at the expense of american's. While americans have unemployments, foceclusure's, surviving on foodstamps, India is generating more millionaires.
      With CNN's and other organizations aid, these poor Indian will get money and prosper but who will provide you guys the money. Think about it my friend.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:25 am | Reply
  43. Jobbin

    This is a horrible crime and its amazing how many people do not know of its existence. My friends and I are going to live off of $2 for the whole day on March 19th because 2 billion people in the world, especially those succumbed to human trafficking only make that much. When our friends, family, and coworkers as me why I wont spend money, go out to eat, or buy a simple candy bar on that day, I can tell them the reason and spread awareness. If you want to join us, look up $2/day Campaign on facebook, or let me know. God bless and deliver those in slavery.

    March 9, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  44. Listen

    First of all, this is terrible, but doesn't surprise me.
    It is true that India is set to become a great power.
    However, two things stand in her way.
    1. Corruption. Corruption is HUGE. Hopefully, the new generation will bring change. If India can get rid of corruption, everything will become better.
    2. Overpopulation. If India can turn one of its greatest weaknesses into its greatest strength, then India will become stronger. Until then we will continue to see articles like this.

    Don't blame Muslims, Christians, or Hindus. Don't blame the caste system. There will always be people who twist things and make them look evil. The caste system, in low quantities, can be a good thing. But extremists, like always, have to go.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Reply
  45. Sanjeev

    Oh,
    So they saved 1 dozen kids from Bonded Labour, but what about so many kids dying on the street because of hunger. Hmmmm ....so now a new term has come HINDU Extremist Belly. For all the rest of the WORLD let me clarify, there are 2 types of PEOPLE who suffer in India.
    1> Hindus
    2> Upper Caste People

    What our ancestors did, we are being punished, so why not KILL UK because they killed so many Indians, why not kill all Mughals they killed so many Indians.........It seems like "Operation Freedom" in I-RAQ.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:27 am | Reply
  46. shilpy

    you all know that india is a socialist-communist country, right? india's constitution requires india to be a socialist country. india still follows the communist command economy model of soviet union, thanks to nehru and gandhis. the biggest economic event in india is its soviet style 5 year planning commission which is headed by people who never ever ran a successful business or even an unsuccessful business. so, hey, you hindus out there, are you all really surprised that your country is still rolling in poverty? the indian political party, the congress party, takes pride in having won an oscar for slum dog millionaire. about the only place something good happening there is a limited to a small western part of india but the rest of the india hates the success of that place. india is one huge scam. eg, the world thinks india is a democracy. did you know that the prime minister of india is not even elected? yes, very strange, he is appointed by the ruling congress party, headed by a gandhi. in the american context imagine president obama not elected by popular vote but appointed the democrat party boss somebody like a kennedy. nowhere is the bad idea of caste more observable than in inida's politics where the gandhi family has been ruling since ever. this article talks about debt carried over 3 generations? well the gandhis have been there for 5 generations. tragically, the hindus are supposed to be looking inwards, but it seems they have stopped being hindus and have become socialists-communists.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:15 am | Reply
  47. Marz

    i suggest that u educate ur self about the muslim religion and clear the misconception that u have.dont just depend totally on the biased media..do some kind of research on ur own...

    March 10, 2011 at 2:58 am | Reply
  48. me

    What I don't understand is how a country with one of the best tech schools in the world can still have bonded slavery. I understand the caste system, but come on... People who choose MIT as a 'second choice' school if they don't get into ITT should be able to help their fellow countryman.

    That being said, I know several Indians who were born there, and got out – granted, their families had enough money to send them to school, and to the States, but even those people are embarrassed, and refuse to return "home".

    March 10, 2011 at 9:53 am | Reply
    • dfm

      Just to clarify, undergrad education is good in India, not denying that. But lets not compare IITs to MITs. MIT is the best for research and Post graduate degrees. more than 1/3 of Indians are poor which explains the state of India. So, lets not judge based on one or two incidents. I hope people of India come together to solve these social issues. Internet and media is doing their part to create social awareness, but less people are acting on them, seeing the present condition as a norm.

      sigh

      March 10, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
  49. bnakka

    Slavery and oppression has no religion. They might say and use christian scriptures, hindu vedas and something from the Quran but in the end we all know it is about money.

    India and the political system has become so corrupt yet the people are complacent. They have come down so low to assume if everyone steals 98 bucks we still get 2 bucks out of the 100 which was supposed to be used for our good. Everyone makes money of off the common man. You cannot get anything done without a bribe, even a drivers license. With all this happening and everyone having their own lives to live who will stop and turn when there are injustices done. Imagine if you try to help they come after you and everyone in your family just to keep you silent.

    This is a global thing and stop saying Indians have to do it on their own. America for being so free is not without corruption, in India you become a politician by how much fear you can instill in your constituency.

    March 10, 2011 at 10:20 am | Reply
  50. MJ

    Hello CNN Reporter / editor / people working on this project.
    I have read your stories yesterday and today ...I see one thing for sure in common. Police says some one tipped off the owner and they absconded before police and you guys reached the site . This is "BS" if you haven' known about the corrupted police officers ..It is so clear some one within the staff of the police is an informant .
    Try to think out of the box...It is so challenging I understand but there is corruption every nook and corner .

    To All others Indians /NRI who wrote they are ashamed of India...shame on you if you cant help your country in making it a better one.

    MJ
    MJ

    March 10, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
  51. Victor from New Delhi

    Hello All Great minds discussing out here, Has anyone delved enough to find out why is India in such a state?? Sure its corruption, its poverty its over population, these are the burning issues due to which these and thousands of such kids are bonded labor.. but the big question to ask is WHY?? If you see the history of India it was once a super power and the richest nation in the whole world. It’s very easy to say SHAME on India.. but you should never forget that whatever rises has to see the downfall.. India got looted time and again by several foreign power and slavery is something that these kids inherit from their ancestors.. But, you should not forget that after a downfall there'll be a rise again and India will again become a super power.. There'll still be corruption, high population etc.. and tell me something is the government in USA not corrupted?? That's human nature.. So my dear think twice before making such statements like Shame on India.. 'coz table may turn very soon!!

    March 10, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
  52. Vikram

    A simple reality is India with its billion plus population with a major percentage at poverty level and with centuries old system of wrong practices, is not going to change overnight. But things are changing, albeit slowly more like a snowball effect. There is a huge change in the lives and development across the entire spectrum of population at all levels. Are there people who are still stuck at below poverty levels, yes of course, is it going to change overnight, of course not. The real development will be noticed in couple generations, when the practices put into effect today will actually take fruit. When a large % of folks get educated, things like slavery, poverty, corruption....get reduced. A lot of things are taken for granted in the western world and you may be shocked at what's happening in the 3rd world, but things are improving and I am confident that the entire world will notice the difference.....in a generation or two.

    March 10, 2011 at 11:05 am | Reply
  53. desihomecook

    Lived all over India and love my India but this report shows the real situtaion. India is developing fast but the contrast between the developing India and the under-developed India is too stark. The problem is the belief system. I have seen educated people discrimnating against lower caste people. I have seen educated people aborting girl fetuses. So illiteracy is not the root of the problem. As long as parents continue to pump their belief systems in their babies from the moment they are born India will have all kinds on human rights problem, slavery among one.

    As for me, I am a selfish and coward fella enjoying the good life in USA becuase I do not have guts to fight the Indian belief system. So I just ran away from it. And the fact of the matter is USA is the greatest country in the world. Period.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  54. Leela

    This is the crisis that we human beings are facing with no solutions to correct this situation. I say with no solutions because we human beings have become so corrupt and selfish and have loss all our moral values. Caste is an excuse for us to exploit our brothers. Let us educate ourself, recognise who we really are and understand who is God. We have moved away from knowing who we really are and just make up these rules and laws to benefit ourself. I say we all have to understand who we really are, we are souls and therefore we are all brothers with only one Father who is God, it is only then we would become caring, loving, sharing and our true virtues would become visible. Only then we would create a better world for us to live in. Once man continue to be selfish we can never really get rid of this selfish way of living, thinking and acting. Without making these corrections we can never truly correct the many horrible situations that we see, read and withness everyday. So my friends out there, we all feel sorry at this situation, but let us each make this change within each of us and let us create this new better world in which to live. Each of us has the power to change our own self and can help change this world at large, making it into a clean and sweet world. By I changing myself I can make this difference. Please people what more sad story must we read before we make these corrections.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  55. chris

    ===In India and Nepal===
    If media reports are to be believed, there would be no young girls left in Nepal. Oft-quoted figures such as 5,000-7,000 Nepali girls being trafficked across the border to India every year and 150,000-200,000 Nepali women and girls being trapped in brothels in various Indian cities, were first disseminated in 1986, and have remained unaltered over the next two decades. The report that first quoted these statistics was from the Indian Health Association, Mumbai, written by AIDS Society of India secretary general, Dr. I S Gilada, and presented in a workshop in 1986. Subsequently, a version of this report was published as an article in The Times of India on January 2, 1989. To date, the source of this figure remains a mystery. Unfortunately, such a lack of clarity is more the norm than the exception when it comes to reporting on trafficking in women and girls.

    There needs to be a distinct separation of
    1. Child sex trafficking
    2. Adult sex Trafficking
    3. Adult consensual
    prostitution.
    4. Sex Slavery

    They are not the same. Adult Women are NOT children.
    Media coverage of trafficking and adult women's migration and sex work is confused and inaccurate. The media wrongly uses the terms 'sex work' and 'trafficking' and adult sex work and child sex trafficking synonymously, perpetuating stereotypes and stigmatization, and contributing to the violation of women's right to free movement and livelihood options. They assume that if any woman moves from place to place for sex work that they are being trafficking. The media, politicians, aid groups, feminist, and religious organizations does not take into account that she may do this of her own free will. Too often women are treated like children. Adult women are not children.

    Most migrant women, including those in the sex industry, have made a clear decision, says a new study, to leave home and take their chances abroad. They are not "passive victims" in need of "saving" or sending back by western campaigners.

    There is a lot of controversy over the numbers of adult woman who are forced sex slaves. The real factual answer is that no one knows. There is hard evidence that the sex slavery/sex trafficking issue continues to report false information and is greatly exaggerated by politicians, the media, and aid groups, feminist and religious organizations that receive funds from the government, The estimate of adult women who become new sex slaves ranges anywhere from 40 million a year to 5,000 per year all of which appear to be much too high. They have no evidence to back up these numbers, and no one questions them about it. Their sources have no sources, and are made up numbers. In fact if some of these numbers are to believed which have either not changed or have been increased each year for the past twenty years, all woman on earth would currently be sex slaves. Yet, very few real forced against their will sex slaves have been found.

    It is not easy for criminals to engage in this activity:

    Sex trafficking is illegal and the pentities are very severe. It is very difficult to force someone to be a sex slave, they would have to have 24 hour guards posted and be watched 365 days a year, 24 hours per day. Have the threat of violence if they refused, and have no one notice and complain to the authorities or police. They would need to hide from the general public yet still manage to see customers from the general public and not have the customers turn the traffickers in to the police. They would need to provide them with medical care, food, shelter, and have all their basic needs met. They would need to have the sex slaves put on a fake front that they enjoyed what they were doing, act flirtatious and do their job well. They would have to deal with the authorities looking for the missing women, and hide any money they may make, since it comes from illegal activity. They must do all of this while constantly trying to prevent the sex slaves from escaping and reporting them to the police. They would need to prevent the general public from reporting them into the police.

    This is extremely difficult to do, which makes this activity rare. These criminals would be breaking dozens of major laws not just one. Kidnapping itself is a serious crime. There are many laws against sex trafficking, sex slavery, kidnapping, sex abuse, rape, sexual harassment etc. If someone is behind it, they will be breaking many serious laws, be in big trouble, and will go to jail for many long years. And do you actually think that there is a long line of people who want to have a career as a sex slave kidnapping pimp?

    While there are some women who may be true victims. And it is possible for this to happen in rare situations. This is a small rare group of people and that the numbers and scale of this crime is exaggerated. The very nature of someone pulling off a kidnapping and forced sex for profit appears to be very difficult. Since it would be difficult this makes this crime rare. Not impossible, but extremely rare. And do you really think that millions of people are lining up to make a career out of being a illegal violent sex slave kidnapping pimp?

    A key point is that on the sidelines the adult prostitutes themselves are not being listened to. They oppose laws against prostitution. But no one wants to listen to the prostitutes themselves. Only to the self appointed experts that make up numbers and stories many of which have never met a real forced sex slave or if they did it was only a few. The media and government never ask the prostitutes themselves what would help them in terms of laws.

    Here is some more information about this:

    http://sextraffickingtruths.blogspot.com/

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    March 10, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  56. Karolina

    Thank you CNN for shedding light on this problem!

    March 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • Justina

      I wish they came to this issue sooner. I wonder if CNN could create a page dedicated to religious persecutions around the world. And prison abuse. CNN, please listen to Christian missionaries more. What they see as problems are the true problems of all humanity.

      March 12, 2011 at 2:03 am | Reply
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