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Mumbai’s flesh trade calls for attention as it goes underground

Current version: January 23, 2016

By: Joseph Rosa

Police crackdowns and higher rents are driving Mumbai's commercial sex industry out of traditional red-light areas and underground, with calls on Friday from social workers to boost efforts to ensure sex workers' lives are not put at risk.

The commercial sex industry in Mumbai, one of the biggest destinations in the country for trafficked women, was once concentrated in decrepit brothels in the Kamathipura and Falkland Road areas in South Mumbai.

But the industry has moved north to suburbs like Vashi, Bhiwandi and Bhandup, and to less identifiable small businesses and private residences over the past five to 10 years while reporting of rape cases has jumped 390 percent in four years.

The move from the traditional red-light district has come as industries including financial services moved north due to soaring real-estate prices but raised fears about protecting sex workers, many of whom are victims of trafficking.

"The entire modus operandi of the commercial sex industry is changing," said Shailja Mehta at Dasra, a non-profit in Mumbai that has examined sex trafficking in India.

"It's become less institutionalised, less formal, and is much more underhand and subtle now."

Mumbai, India's financial hub, has always been a magnet for migrant workers in search of better economic opportunities as domestic help or in the entertainment industry. Along with the migrants came traffickers.

Most women and children are brought from other states and from neighbouring countries including Nepal and Bangladesh, under the guise of securing a well-paid job in a home or retail establishment.

Covert Operations:

Instead, many are trafficked into sex work fronted by salons and massage parlours, or forced into manual labour. Almost 36 million people are enslaved worldwide, according to the 2014 Global Slavery Index; nearly half, or about 16 million, are in India.

"Mumbai's commercial-sex industry has gone from being quite a public, overt operation to a private, covert business," said Sanjay Macwan, field officer director in Mumbai at non-profit IJM (International Justice Mission).

"The nature of the violence against these girls and women is different now, and harder to observe. It is also very hard to track and bring perpetrators to justice, because even the victims don't quite know who's the trafficker, who's the pimp."

India's commercial-sex industry generates revenues of up to $343 billion a year, according to a 2014 report by the network Global March Against Child Labour.

Raids on which IJM has accompanied the police to rescue trafficked women have included an under-construction building and a residential apartment off a busy street in one suburb.

"Earlier, there was a good system because you had NGOs in and around the red-light areas, and they kept in touch with the police, and the police were sensitised to the issue of trafficking and commercial sex workers," said Nandini Thakkar, a legal consultant at Save the Children India in Mumbai.

"Now, it is harder to monitor and intervene."

Alongside Mumbai, neighbouring towns such as Thane, Pune and Sangli are also emerging as destinations for trafficked sex workers, according to research by Dasra. A concerted effort will be needed, involving the community at large, to track, prevent and intervene in cases involving commercial sex workers, said Macwan.

"The private establishments are much more in number than the public establishments," he said. "We need to be much more sophisticated, much more technologically advanced to crack down on these covert operations."

For the current legal systems in the Western World, and for the mainstream media anyway, doing physical harm to men, or killing them, is peanuts. A woman who kills her sexual partner always gets full sympathy. Never mind what kind of bitch she is.

Actually, if they can live with the fact that men have a sexuality to cope with, and if they aren't feminists, women, at least some of them, are quite OK.


Rio man admits killing 41 people for fun

Current version: December 12, 2014

By: Abilio Machado

RIO DE JANEIRO - A Brazilian man accused of stabbing a woman to death in a Rio suburb has confessed to have murdered 41 people, almost all of them women, "for the fun of it", police said Thursday.

"He wanted to kill women -- white women, not black ones. He followed the victims, studying them closely before committing the crimes," said police commissioner Pedro Henrique Medina from the northern suburb of Nova Iguacu.

The man was identified as Sailson Jose das Gracas, a 26-year-old whom police describe as a psychopath. They said they were checking his statements against past investigations, and so far they tally with the evidence.

Gracas says he murdered 37 women, three men and a two-year-old child over a nine-year killing spree, explaining he killed the child because he feared it would cry and attract neighbors' attention.

"I observed them, I studied them. I waited for a month, sometimes a week, depending on the place. I tried to ascertain where they lived, what their families were like.

I kept watch on their houses and then after a while went there at dawn, waited for my chance and entered," broadcaster Globo's G1 news portal quoted Gracas as saying.


Herbalists to blame for high malaria rates in Kenya

Current version: April 28, 2015

By: Adrian Bodi

The local preference for herbal over conventional medicine has been blamed for the high malaria prevalence rate, making the disease the leading cause of ill health in the region.

According to official statistics, about 150,000 people were infected with malaria last year, translating to a 41.9 per cent increase from the 2013 infection figure of 84,646 cases.

According to Medical Services Executive Timothy Malingi, the disease has been classified as a leading killer in the region.

World Health Organization (WHO) report indicates that Western, Nyanza and Coastal regions lead with a high malaria prevalence rate compared to other regions.

Releasing the data at Vishakani in Kaloleni sub-county during the World Malaria Day, Dr Malingi said the county administration had put measures in place to combat the disease.

“The Malaria indicator survey in Kilifi County for 2014 showed that 154,344 people who visited our health facilities were found to have been infected with the malaria virus,” he said adding, “Most of those diagnosed with the disease visited health facilities as outpatients.”

The county health management team has been conducting an annual malaria infection survey, and in the year 2012, 59,651 people were found to be malaria positive.

Malingi blamed the high malaria rate on the false belief that the disease is a curse, and cannot be treated in hospitals.

“Our people still believe that malaria is caused by witchcraft and for that case, they prefer seeking treatment from local herbalists instead of visiting certified health centres, something which leads to many deaths especially among children,” he said.

In contrast, malaria infection has drastically dropped and is no longer a threat in Taita Taveta County.

Health Executive Gifton Mkaya and Chief Officer Catherine Mwamuzi said the county has had a positive rate of less than 10 per cent in malaria infection.

“Malaria is no longer a threat in the region. We have a positive rate of 9.84 per cent and this translates to minimal malaria deaths and a major win in the fight against the tropical disease,” said Mr Mkaya.

Dr Mwamuzi attributed the decline to high levels of investment in the sector and massive public awareness campaigns and health education.

The Taita Taveta administration has in the past distributed insecticidal bed nets to more than 216,000 people. About 55,000 households benefited from the free nets to fight malaria in the region.

“We are also conducting residual spraying of homesteads and at the same time asking residents to clear bushes in their compounds to avert mosquito breeding,” said Mkaya.

He added that like the people of Kilifi, there are still those in his county who are using herbs as a measure to cure malaria with others seeking the services of traditional medicine men.

Mkaya said the belief in herbs and traditional medicine men to cure malaria was hampering the efforts to eradicate the malaria menace.

Speaking during the World Malaria Day in Mbale, Taita sub-county, Mkaya said diabetes and high blood pressure remains a major challenge in the region.

“Diabetes and high blood pressure remain the biggest killer diseases in the region.

“The diseases are the silent killers of the local population,” he told the gathering. The celebrations were presided over by Governor John Mruttu.

America and Europe are evil. Let them self-destruct by fostering sexual hatred. They will kill each other, and the system will kill itself.

Does size of your penis matter during sex?

'Mentally impaired' rapist-killer executed

Capital Markets Authority reigns in on rogue firms

Herbalists to blame for high malaria rates in Kenya

Rap music may trigger early sex in teens: study

Three suffocate to death in Mukuru slums, Nairobi after inhaling carbon monoxide

Fury after firing squad execution of drug convicts

Health minister okays herbal drugs

Health minister okays herbal drugs

Top reasons you may be avoiding sex

Getting serious with herbal medicine

Stigma, sex laws contribute to HIV spread


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