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Ruchira Gupta receiving Global Citizen Award

I share a dream with victims and survivors of sex trafficking. I believe in a world in which it is unacceptable to buy or sell another human being. I imagine an economy in which one is not forced to sell oneself.  I challenge the notion that slavery and prostitution are inevitable. 

Slavery was once perpetuated by the idea that there was and always would be slavery and now sex-slavery and prostitution are also perpetuated by the same idea of inevitability. This has led to public health Foundation funds being spent solely on the supposed protection of sex buyers from AIDS and not at all on the protection of women and children from sex buyers. The unintended consequence of this has been the emphasis on condoms alone and a vested interest in preserving brothel systems for the distribution of condoms. 

Demand for trafficked people –from sex buyers to those who make a profit off the trade has become the most immediate cause for the expansion of the trafficking industry. I want the the Indian anti-trafficking law, ITPA, to be amended to focus on the responsibility of those who buy trafficked people such as buyers of prostituted sex and those “entrepreneurs” (traffickers, procurers, pimps, brothel owners, and managers, owners of plantations and factories and money lenders) who make a profit off trading in women and girls, boys and men. This and only this will dismantle the trafficking system.