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Is Child Sex Industry behind increasing foreign tourists in India?

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A Bollywood blockbuster movie Page 3 has tried to unveil the hidden truth behind the foreign nationals visiting cities like Goa and other seashore tourist places in most of the cases. The movie indicated the dark side of foreign tourist visiting India and revealed the cases of child sex rising in Indian cities or tourist hubs.

According to a report, some International experts have warned Indian government about the alarming rate of the increasing numbers of cases of child sex and the growing problem of child sex tourism in India. They further said that the cases of child sex are being reported not only from tourist places but also from the religious places in Tamil Nadu and Orissa.

Carmen Madrinan is said to be an international expert in the child sex study. At present, he is the executive director of the NGO End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and the Trafficking of Children (ECPAT). He has come to India to take part in a UN conference on human trafficking. He warned that the child sex industry has spread its network in India from its traditional tourist places in Goa and Kerala.
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He said:

The new cases are being reported even from the religious places in Tamil Nadu and Orissa also. India is among the most rapidly growing economies in the world and the introduction of economy airlines, the development of untapped destinations, improved infrastructure and new modes of tourism like economic and experiential tourism have brought tourists even closer to unexposed communities.

He further said that along with this raised propinquity; criminal activities against children and other vulnerable groups are likely to grow in different religious and tourist places across India.

According to the data issued by the ministry of tourism, the number of tourists in India has gone up from 3.92 million in 2005 to 4.43 million in 2006. It was a sharp increase of 13 percent in the number of tourists coming to India. Jeff Avina, director of operations at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Vienna said that the child sex industry might be one of the causes of the sharp increase in the foreign tourists in India.

Avina said that several Asian countries such as Thailand, India and the Philippines have long been the key destinations for child sex tourists. Indian economy is going great. The government of India should enforce stricter laws to restrict the alarming situation before it becomes difficult to manage even for the government authorities.

Earlier, the case of child sex in 1991 had received great attention of media, public and the government, when six men were found guilty of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Goa. The orphanage was running by another co-accused Freddy Albert Peats and other accused were from countries like Australia, New Zealand and Germany.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that all the accused had sexually assaulted the children and took their nude photographs while having sex with them. Later, Peats, the owner of the orphanage could be sentenced and other accused managed to escape from India.

The industry of child sex has been grown up in Goa despite a special law in place against child sexual abuse called as the Goa Children Act 2003. According to the act, Rs 100,000 and the sentence of one to three years might be slapped for sexual assault and incest. In case of serious sexual assault the fine may go up to Rs 200,000 and the sentence becomes seven to 10 years’ jail for the guilty.

However, if we talk about the law against child sexual abuse in other parts of the country, the accused of child sex would be booked under rape charges for molesting a girl child. The accused will be booked for sodomy in the case for sexually assaulting a male child.

Poverty is the biggest cause behind the increasing cases of child sex in different parts of the country. Children from poor families become soft targets for the agents in search of young children for pushing them in flesh trade. The agents reportedly do promise the poor children to arrange jobs and then force them to become a part of child sex industry.

Renuka Choudhary, Minister for Women and Child Development, said on the growing drift of child sex industry in Indian tourists hubs that almost every country is the victim of sex tourism. She said:

In India, Pedophiles would not be spared at any cost. I have complained about sex tourism to the Home Ministry and they have assured me of taking appropriate action on it.

There is a need of more strict laws in place to restrict the alarming rate of child sex cases in India. The will power to implement the laws is more important that making such laws. The government should take such cases and reports in a serious manner.

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