Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CNN's Amanpour's Feature on Sex Trafficking Aired Sunday

On Sunday, Christiane Amanpour conducted a show on sex trafficking in India on CNN. Amanpour interviewed Taina Bien-Aime, Executive Director of Equality Now and Ruchira Gupta, filmmaker and activist.

At one point in the show, Amanpour featured a scene from Gupta's movie "Selling of Innocents."
After the clip, Amanpour asked Gupta about the scene:

AMANPOUR: That was a scene filmed in Nepal in the startling documentary, "Selling of Innocents." It shows that the problem of human trafficking extends across borders... Let me ask you, Ruchira, you were posing as a trafficker in that scene.

RUCHIRA GUPTA: That's right. I wanted to show how easy it was and how anyone could go into a village in Nepal or India and look around to buy a girl, and somebody would show up to sell the girl, and the girl had no idea about her rights, and for as little as $50 could buy her and do whatever they wanted with her.

AMANPOUR: And it was making that film that turned you into an activist for these -- against this -- this situation? GUPTA: It was a life-changing experience for me, because as a journalist I'd covered war, famine, conflict, hunger, but I had never seen the deliberate exploitation of one human being by another as I saw in a brothel in Bombay, when I walked into a little room which was four-by-four and saw the 10-year-old and the 12-year-olds sitting on the bed.

AMANPOUR: Ten and twelve?

GUPTA: Yes, and 10 or 15 customers a night...

AMANPOUR: Ten or fifteen customers for 10-year-old girls?

GUPTA: Raped repeatedly every night.

AMANPOUR: How many girls and women does this affect?

GUPTA: According to the government of India, just recently in May, they said 1.3 million children are sold into prostitution in India right now. And there are 1.3 million prostituted children in our country right this second.

Although the video of the full show is not yet available, you can find the transcript of the show here.


  1. Anonymous3:47 PM

    The buyers need to be shamed. This is how this cycle of human trafficking can be stopped. Just as in the U.S. we labeled men who do not pay child support as "dead beat dads", and bring them into public scrutiny. Shame the buyers. Make public who they are, so that they are shamed in their own places of worship, communities, and homes. Shine the spotlight on the buyers, so that they can no longer live their double lives. Make the cultures and societies view this behavior as wrong and shameful. A problem with many "machismo" areas is that visiting a brothel is seen as "macho". Need to change this attitude publicly so that these perpetrators feel nothing but shame in their communities. Just as you lift a stone in the garden, and let the sunlight shine on the exposed soil, all of the worms scurry away. We need to shine the spotlight on these "worms" the buyers and perpetrators of trafficking. Men need to stand up, too, and we need to hear the voices of the men who truly care about women and children. Since this is mainly a male dominated problem, then, men who care, where are your voices?! Stand up to protect them women and children of this earth.

  2. I just came back from a two-week trip to Chennai, in southeastern India. What originally started as a personal vacation was transformed into a volunteer vacation for part of the time. I witnessed the hands-on involvement at Banyan, a shelter for mentally battered women. One of these women residents has been in and out of multiple marriages and relationships, the last one with a AIDS infected truck driver. She is HIV positive. The truck driver is dead. The website gives more such examples. The Banyan's efforts is smaller than even a drop in the bucket.