Nita, far left, is 13 years old, and is readying herself to lose her virginity to a stranger and become a prostitute. The man who will eventually have sex with her for the first time could — her family hopes — pay as much as $1,200 for the "right" to her virginity, and, according to this article, "can have access to the girl for as long as he likes - several hours, days, or even weeks." Nita, explains the story, "has signed up for a life in which she will deal with 20 to 30 clients per day, until she reaches her forties. After that, when she is no longer considered desirable, she will depend on any children she may have for support." [Telegraph]
You know, I wasn't going to comment further, but something occured to me and I think it's worth saying:
I don't actually have a problem with prostitution. Prostitution is among the oldest industries in human history, and it has the potential to be both a humane (at least) and profitable trade. Using the example of The Netherlands (which does so many things better than us), prositution is an industry which is entered into only by adults, completely voluntarily, and which comes with the same kind of benefits package as a more traditional job — health and dental insurance, state-covered regular STD testing and gynocological appointments, income taxes and tax refunds, etc. etc. The women in Holland who work as prostitutes seem, generally, to be happy and healthy, raising real families and having husbands and kids and wide social circles.
Things like that make me adamant that if countries were more accepting of their sex trades, great strides could be made in the treatment and lives of the women who are the core of the industry.
Of course, that kind of argument has no application here. These are young girls, with no other options, essentially being sold into a sex trade that they have little to no choice but to participate in. It's appalling. I have no idea how to solve a problem like this, other than to say that if we can just stop denying the prevalence of the sex trade around the world, perhaps we can begin to improve it.
That said, India is a rough, rough place to be young and poor.