Monday, October 25, 2010

The Alleged and Actual "Bad Parenting" That Results in Children Living Out On Streets that are Not Home

photograph of Ruchira Gupta of Apne Aap is from here
It annoys the shit out of me when non-Third World and non-impoverished people propose that the solution to things like prostitution abuse is "better parenting" as if incest and battery of children, and lesbophobia, homophobia, and transphobia in families, aren't big ol' glaring factors in why many children in the West/North run away from home. And as if poor parents anywhere in the world are, intrinsically, bad parents. As if pimps, procurers, war-mongers, drug-dealers, corporate polluters, capitalistic greedy bastards, selfish, callous, and inhumane jerks, and other predators aren't THE problem with regard to children being out in the street. There are so many obnoxious "First World" assumptions about life and complete ignorance about realities that some of us in the U.S. and the Global Northwest simply do not face--and that some of us in North America, for example, DO face but are not reported about because the rich white het male-controlled media doesn't give a flying fuck about poor children and women of color on or beyond this continent.

For those of us living in great denial with equally great arrogance and significant structural and social supports, we assume that everyone has the same options, the same freedoms, and the same levels of privilege and entitlement, to do what we want, including to work in sexxxism industries, or not. So the line between "choosing to work there" and "being enslaved there" is made blurry only by those who have enough privilege and/or denial to believe everyone "chooses to work there".

So let's be clear: if you're not living in abject poverty, earning less than three dollars a day income, shut the fuck up about what bad parents some parents are for letting their children out into the street to be picked up by pimps. Because, really, you have no fucking idea what's going on. None at all. You have no idea how pimps are, necessarily, smooth operators, lying bastards, who approach poor parents sometimes and pretend to represent educational institutions in the West/North and propose that their child will actually thrive in the Global North/West if only they can get to a good academic institution located in that far off place.

Maybe a parent (inside or beyond North America, South Asia, Eastern Europe, or Central America) wants something likes this for their child, something other than abject poverty and hunger. Maybe the pimp is very good at what he does: lying and stealing, including stealing children from parents through deception and the manipulation of powerful love so many parents have for their own children--a love so strong one would be willing to not see one's own child for years just to know s/he has a better life as defined and delineated by the pimp. And, then, most tragically, the pimp brings the child into a life far worse than any imagined hell. And the parents are betrayed and may not get to know this for some time. So, that's not bad parenting, to be clear. That's called "effective pimping and trafficking and slaving". Just for the record.

Please click on the title of the article to link back to the source website and watch the short video that goes with the text if it doesn't play below.

Promise of better life: tricked into India’s sex-slave trade

Campaigners in India are demanding that authorities step-up efforts to battle what has become a real plague for the country - sex-trafficking.

With little value placed on girls from poor families, it is thought more than a quarter of a million women are trafficked in India each year. Some are as young as nine, and come from the rural areas of neighboring Nepal.

The parents of the victims do not always realize what the world outside their home is like, says Ruchira Gupta, the president of an anti-trafficking NGO called Apne Aap (which means self-help in Hindi).

”The parents may know a little bit about what Bombay [Mumbai] is if there is television in the village. To them Bombay represents a lifestyle rather than a brothel, and the difference between hunger and food and a job,” she explains.

It is easy to cross the border between India and Nepal. There are well established routes for trafficking.

“India is the epicenter of the sex trafficking industry right now in the world. The reason is that there is low enforcement of laws against traffickers, pimps and johns,” says Ruchira Gupta.

In the northern state of Bihar, rescue groups keep an eye on the trains passing through.

”It's not easy,” confesses Sita, one of the social workers. “When we ask youngsters where they are going, they say they are going to study. If a girl is traveling with a boy, she says he is her brother. But when we demand their identity cards, we see they aren't related.”

“We have no work in our village. I have two young children and when I was promised a job in Mumbai, I decided to take up the offer,” one of the rescued women says.

It is an easy to convince young girls in a village hundreds of kilometers away that they can make it big in Mumbai.

“Girls are misled by people offering them jobs in big cities,” says Bihar Police Inspector A.K. Gupta. “Some are convinced that they can be a part of a dance group, and are conned into coming to India.”

Taking into account the gravity and the sheer size of the problem, campaigners want to see villagers in Nepal given more warnings of the dangers, and the police more active in clamping down on traffickers.