EXCLUSIVE: The shocking scale of child porn has led to more trafficking and abuse of kids, says Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi

Globally, human trafficking is a $150 billion industry, and India has lost 1.2 million of its children to this.

Already, 40% of Indian women in the sex trade are children, and added to that 66% of the revenue generated from trafficking comes from sexual exploitation.

Child porn is an $8 billion industry for content creation only.



Most of India’s lost children end up in brothels. Already, 40% of Indian women in the sex trade are children, and added to that 66% of the revenue generated from trafficking comes from sexual exploitation.

Unfortunately, this is only increasing as children are also being extensively used for child porn as well, which has exploded in the era of high-speed internet.

“In India, short films are produced while the children are being raped. If the girl is a virgin or being gang raped by a group of boys, such a blue film is sold at a higher price,” Kailash Satyarthi tells Business Insider in an interview.

Since there is a premium on the ‘age’ of such victims, younger and younger children are roped into this trade.

Globally, human trafficking is a $150 billion industry, and India has lost 1.2 million of its children to this. Many such children end up in Internet chat rooms where they are put in obscene situations as well, making child porn the root of many ills. Some children are either brainwashed or medicated to take part in this ugly industry. And, this business extends across borders and it’s large. Globally, only content creation of child porn is $8 billion industry.

Chat rooms & blackmail

The Nobel laureate has been working for enslaved and trafficked children, is also waging a war against child porn. Satyarthi has been demanding a legally binding UN convention from world leaders which can monitor the activities and also have enough teeth to prosecute offenders across borders.

“The reason it is proliferating; is that it is a profitable business for those without a conscience. There are no costs; all the source material is either trafficked or hacked into! And payments are not traceable, because they use either cold cash, or crypto-currencies or some such mind boggling currency,” he explains.

Porn and crime

Porn has two sinister faces where child victims are used to create them, and some of its consumers are children too. Today, thanks to telecom revolution and cheap data, children across hinterlands of India wield smart phones. Unfortunately they access videos with graphic content which glorifies rape, gang rape and violence, seeding such thoughts into young minds.

Satyarthi tells the disturbing story where four boys aged between 12 and 15 who were heavy consumers of porn. “One of them had a 7 year old sister. One day, when the parents were not home; the boy brought on gang rape on his own sister! They gang raped that girl. Such exposure erodes our sense of morality,” he laments.

Prosecution

The problem is deeply entrenched into the fabric of the society. Yet, the government too is playing its part to eradicate it. In the last one year, the number of prosecution against criminals in trafficking has increased five-fold. But, freeing such children from the industry is only one side of the coin.

To help them, government formed a victim compensation scheme, but it has a few loopholes. The victims are not entitled to the compensation until the summary trial begins, and activists are working on ways where the rehabilitation process starts faster.

In the case of child prostitutes, psychological, social integration is a challenge. This is also true with victims of rape, where society places stigma on the victim and the family. “It’s a shame that, the victims are always treated as culprits, they are stigmatized. It’s a sickness, this is the dirt in our minds and we should clean it,” says Satyarthi.
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