Sex tourism and human trafficking have emerged as alarming trends in recent years, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Ashwini Kumar said in New Delhi on Monday.
Kumar was speaking at a seminar on Organised Crime and Human Trafficking at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta inaugurated the seminar.
“A few alarming trends that have emerged in recent years are exploitation through sex tourism, paedophilia, prostitution in pilgrim towns and other tourist destinations and cross border trafficking especially from neighbouring countries,” said Kumar, according to a CBI statement.
“Trafficking of women and children is one of the grave organised crimes, extending beyond boundaries and jurisdictions. Combating and preventing human trafficking requires holistic approach and integrated actions on prosecution, prevention and protection,” Kumar said.
According to the CBI, the global human trafficking industry is worth $5-9 billion and an estimated 6-8 million people are annually affected by it.
The CBI director said: “Over the years, India has emerged as a source, destination and transit country for human trafficking. Human trafficking is the world's third largest organised crime after narcotics and arms trafficking.
“Human trafficking is usually done for sexual and commercial exploitation of girls, women and children. Women and children are also illegally sent to the Middle Eastern countries and other parts of the world for purpose of cheap labour.”
In India, there are approximately three million commercial sex workers of which an estimated 40 per cent are children.
“There is a growing demand for young girls to be inducted into prostitution on account of customer preferences,” Kumar said.