Cambodian sex trafficking documentary

To see Champa Das involves getting permission to work in Sonagachi by the DMSC in the organisation’s aircon office, then having it abruptly withdrawn by case-workers as soon as we hit the narrow alleys of Sonagachi.

Sonagachi is a hard place, forgotten by day, remembered by night by India, by Calcutta, by thousands and thousands of men who come to the area, pay a quarter Dollar for sex and return to their lives, as if nothing had happened. India is top of the global list of quickly rising AIDS statistics.

French writer and activist Dominique La Pierre has been running aid projects in Calcutta for 20 years.

60.000 more sex workers area active across Calcutta.

In overcrowded India things don’t come in small measures.

Champa Das lives in a tiny, 2 by 7 meter corridor-like room. Suparna Tat has been a field worker and program coordinator for The Durbar Samanwaya Committee (DMSC) for a year. In the light of the neon overhead our host’s scars become clearly visible.

Champa Das’ arms are lined with old cuts and her face is battered. Champa Das remarks, “The lady who owns this building rents out ten rooms like mine.These cities have large populations of itinerant workers who all take the diseases they have been infected with back to their villages and families.AIDS is like a time bomb.” Calcutta is a city crowded with millions of men from the hinterlands of Bihar and West Bengal.Sonagachi is one of Calcutta’s largest red light districts – narrow alleys, lined with small ‘apartments’ and corner stores form a confusing and nightmarish maze. Champa Das’ decision to grant me access to her life has not been taken easily.The buildings lean into the street, the roads are crowded, it’s hot. Sonagachi is one of the very few places in India where women have a higher street profile than men. 9000 women, many of them trafficked into the country from Bangladesh or Nepal, work in Sonagachi.Two and a half million women and children (around 500.000 prostitutes in India are under 16) are working in the country’s sex industry.

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