Human trafficking is not a new trade in the state of Goa. There are girls and women brought from north India and other parts of the country and sold here not only for the flesh trading but also for the cross massages in some of the well-known SPAs across the state. The ARZ NGO has exposed the link between Goa and Delhi from most of the trafficking is done.
Goa along with its picturesque sceneries, beautiful coastlines, and old heritage structures also has its dark side, human trafficking is one of them. A couple of months back, statistics revealed that in 2018 alone, 102 victims were rescued from commercial sex activities and of the 102, 21 were from other countries.
These women are often from Countries in Central Asia as well as neighboring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh. Victims are also from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Russia, and Israel, just to name a few.
Anyay Rahit Zindagi (ARZ) an NGO stated that a new trend highlights that NCR (National Capital Region) is developing as one of the main areas from where Goa sources women.
A statistical analysis report on the trafficking of vulnerable girls for prostitution reveals that an organized network between Delhi and Goa for trafficking of girls and women for illicit trade has been flourishing.
Arun Pandey, Director of the NGO ARZ, has prepared the report which stated that in the maximum number of cases the girls or women were lured into commercial sexual activities by men known to them.
“Many of these rescued victims were put into this business by their partners who are unemployed and knowingly surviving on the earnings of the women from this activity,” said the director of ARZ Mr. Arun Pandey adding that Delhi is a transit for trafficking girls and women who are mainly from Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, etc. “These girls under the pretext of good jobs in Goa are thereafter sent to the coastal state where they are blackmailed to continue this profession.”
Vulnerable girls from Delhi are often lured to Goa in the name of jobs related to catering, casinos and events and foreigners dancing skills are often tested in pubs and five-star hotels in Delhi and then sent to Goa. Once in Goa, they are then pushed into Commercial Sexual Activity (CSA).
Vulnerable girls are also trafficked from Central Asia who is then commercially exploited in Delhi first and when the victims have accepted CSA “like no other choice” or are controlled by the trafficker, they are then trafficked to Goa. Girls from Bangladesh are first trafficked to Maharashtra and then to Goa.
Pandey pointed out that in the last 5 years, Delhi has emerged as the major source for trafficking of girls and women for Commercial Sexual Exploitation, and these girls are often trafficked from different districts in Delhi.
A large number of these women, who are trafficked to Goa from Delhi, are often those who were working as waitresses at weddings and big parties and many of the rescued girls included those who were into “dancing” during marriages, product launches, birthday parties, exhibitions, etc. Depending on their looks, they are paid anything between Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 6000/- per day. Some are also paid based on their dancing skills and connection with the coordinator.
“The agents target these girls during the program and then lure them with the promise of dance opportunities in hotels, clubs, casinos in Goa with higher payment”, Pandey stated.
Based on different case studies from rescue operations, the NGO has claimed that another way to lure foreign girls were by making fake Aadhar cards, PAN cards, voter ID cards, Nikah Nama and driving licenses. These fake documents are prepared by the traffickers and unfortunately, these traffickers are never caught by the police.
Pandey also added that apart from Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Bangladesh have also developed as source states for trafficking girls into Goa.
Girls and women trafficked from West Bengal and Bangladesh, are first brought to Maharashtra, who are then sexually exploited and later forced into the illegal profession in Goa, usually on short term contracts.
Likewise, girls from Uzbekistan are first trafficked to Delhi, then to Mumbai and lastly sent to Goa.
Girls and women trafficked from Bangladesh, are usually from 11 locations with most of them trafficked from Jessore, Narail, Bagerhat and Satkhira.
Girls from these places illegally trespass into India on orders from their agents, who are allegedly hand in glove with the border authorities.
ARZ has also found out that most of the customers are domestic tourists. These activities are usually widespread in North Goa and the coastal belt, and cases in Ponda, Vasco and Margao have also been reported. This makes it all the more difficult to crack down on illegalities.