Activist takes aim at 'pimps and johns'

From Global development | The Guardian Tue Dec 4 2012, 07:09:01

Ruchira Gupta is unapologetic about her controversial work with the 'survivors and victims' of sex trafficking in India and beyond

If prostitution is a system based on supply and demand, Ruchira Gupta appears to be taking clear aim at the "pimps and the johns" who buy sex or live off the earnings of sex workers.

Gupta, in London this week to take part in the two-day Trust Women conference, organised by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the International Herald Tribune, is the president of Apne Aap Women Worldwide, a grassroots movement that campaigns to end sex trafficking and offer women alternatives to soliciting. It's an organisation she set up 15 years ago after exposing the involvement of girls in sex work while working as a full-time journalist. Her documentary on sex trafficking, The Selling of Innocents, won an Emmy award.

"My organisation works with survivors and victims of sex trafficking. We go into red light areas and slums, and very marginalised communities and villages where girls and women [are] likely to be trafficked," she says.

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