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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Mumbai

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Introduction to the report on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Mumbai, India
Findings in Public Establishments and Private Networks of the Sex Trade and Survivor Perspectives
 
The Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) of women and children generates approximately 2,560 crore rupees (400 million US Dollars) annually in the city of Mumbai alone. Earlier statistics have estimated that 40% of the victims found in the flesh trade are minors. However, this study conducted in 2015 and 2016 by International Justice Mission (IJM) has found the prevalence of minors engaged in CSE in Mumbai hotspots to be 5.5%. Mumbai’s police and law enforcement officials have worked tirelessly to combat this heinous crime and the findings of this prevalence study show that their work has effectively reduced the number of minors exploited in the flesh trade.
 
The overall goal of the study was to determine the prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in both public establishments and private networks of the sex trade in targeted areas of Mumbai.
 
The findings of this report are the result of a thorough and in-depth study by International Justice Mission (IJM). More than 1,000 establishments were mapped during the course of this study and over 10,000 commercial sex workers were found in these establishments. This prevalence study not only gives an important insight into the current state of CSE within Mumbai, but will also be useful in the future to make decisions and strategies to combat the crime.
 
This report reveals a shift in the prevalence of minors from so called public establishments, like brothels, bars, etc. to a private network which operates from residential premises and private lodges, in which girls are only provided to contacts that are known to the pimps. For the Public establishment study 16 hotspot areas were identified in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The private network focus areas were concentrated in Thane, Dombivili (Central line), Navi Mumbai (Harbor line), and the Western suburbs (Western line). The researchers had to undergo training and skill building before conducting the study.
 
Apart from identifying the prevalence of CSE of children in the target areas, this study also delves into the nature of violence perpetrated upon the victims of sex trafficking comprising the third segment of the report. It describes the means of control exercised by perpetrators upon the victims, nature of abuse and the effect on the health of the victims. The findings of the study have been achieved by conducting rigorous field work and qualitative analysis for a period of over nine months from August, 2015-April, 2016. The study has been designed to comprehensively analyze the problem by using scientific research methodology.
 
Six primary recommendations were made by the study; towards future research possibilities, need to improve investigation techniques and attention to the needs of victims. IJM believes this study provides a glimpse of the illicit sex trade that is prevalent in Mumbai, and urges researchers to explore and pursue the recommendations further.
 
 

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