India ranks fourth among dangerous countries for women owing to female foeticide, infanticide and human trafficking, according to a poll by TrustLaw, a legal news service run by Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Marking the launch of its new TrustLaw Women section, a global hub of news and information on women's legal rights, the foundation unveiled the survey which ranks India only after Afghanistan, Congo (rape as weapon of war) and Pakistan (acid attacks and honour killings) as an unsafe place for women.
The TrustLaw in its report says in 2009, India's then-Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta estimated that 100 million people, mostly women and girls, were involved in trafficking in India that year.
"The practice is common but lucrative so it goes untouched by government and police," TrustLaw quoted Cristi Hegranes, founder of the Global Press institute, which trains women in developing countries to be journalists, saying.
It says "India's federal agency Central Bureau of Investigation estimated that in 2009 about 90 percent of trafficking took place within the country and that there were some 3 million prostitutes, of which about 40 percent were children."
In addition to sex slavery, other forms of trafficking include forced labour and forced marriage, according to a U.S. State Department report on trafficking in 2010, says the report which also found slow progress in criminal prosecutions of traffickers.
Up to 50 million girls are thought to be "missing" over the past century due to female infanticide and foeticide, the U.N. Population Fund says, the report says.
India’s skewed infant sex ratio and the reality of female foeticide was exposed once again after the new Census report published in April showed that India counted only 914 girls aged six and under for every 1,000 boys.