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Tourists fuel surge in Goa sex trafficking

By Brett Wilkins     Aug 3, 2013 in World
Vasco Da Gama - A recently-released United Nations report blames increased tourism for a surge in sex trafficking in the Indian state of Goa.
The Times of India reports the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) concludes that "demand for sex services by tourists has led to an upsurge of trafficking rackets" operating in India's smallest state. Trafficking victims are smuggled into Goa from throughout India and even from across international borders, the report states.
Analyzing data provided by ARZ, a Goa-based non-governmental anti-trafficking organization, UNTOC identified women and girls from Nepal, Bangladesh and even as far afield as Russia who were trafficking victims in the coastal Indian state.
After authorities cracked down on Goa's brothels in 2004, traffickers simply adjusted and sent their victims elsewhere to ply their trade. Today, many brothels operate out of beauty salons, 'friendship clubs,' escort services and over the Internet.
Many of the girls who fall victim to traffickers are orphans, members of the Dalit (untouchable) caste or Lamanis-- nomadic tribal people from the northwest. Lamani children are at particularly high risk of being trafficked, the UN report warns. Many of the victims are lured with false promises of good jobs.
The report also claims that the Russian mafia is involved not only in drug trafficking and real estate deals in Goa, but also sex trafficking. Secret US diplomatic cables leaked by the whistleblower website Wikileaks confirmed that Russian and Israeli organized crime groups control sex trafficking in Mumbai, India's largest city, and also traffic women and girls in Goa. The UN report states that Russian, Romanian and Yugoslavian girls, sometimes minors, are being trafficked there.
Business conferences in Goa are the new front for the female flesh trade, the UN report claims, with girls being trafficked from various Indian states specifically to service clients at these events.
More about Human trafficking, Sex trafficking, Goa, Goa tourism, goa sex trafficking
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