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Type of document: News
Topic: Normative and institutional framework
Geographic descriptors: India
Language: English
Date of publication: 13 September 2004
Long Abstract: Extreme poverty is the reason and prostitution the cause. Unable to combat the crisis, a large number of minor girls (below 18 years of age), mainly from the backward classes and minority community, join the flesh trade in Birbhum every year. A survey done for over the past four years, starting from 2000, in Bolpur, Suri, Sainthia, Nalhati and Paikar in the district, by a Santiniketan-based NGO, Elmhirst Institute of Community Studies, revealed the fact. The project was funded by the West Bengal State AIDS Prevention and Control Society. Within its project area, the NGO located 278 minor girls, to have entered the flesh trade. Of these, a majority belongs to the backward classes and minority groups (scheduled caste, 37 per cent, scheduled tribe, six per cent and minority community, 42 per cent). The NGO, however, did not include the flying sex-workers. The report reads: 'The flying sex workers are supplementing their income by entering into the profession. They are hidden and it is very difficult to locate as they did not come forward.' Based on the number of minor girls who have joined the trade in the project area, the report estimated that about 1,600 minor girls have already entered the profession in the entire district. The report also mentioned that the actual number may cross a few thousand if a proper survey is done through out the district.
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