North Karnataka is known as the "devadasi" belt. This is an ancient practice where little girls are dedicated to temple deities but in reality are sexually exploited and sold to red light areas in metro cities like Mumbai as well as to Gulf states. Children in North Karnataka are especially vulnerable to traffickers because of abject poverty and lack of sustainable livelihood.
Victims of customary prostitution are generally forced into prostitution at a very young age (9-13) by family members (parents or brothers) who act as agents of the victims. Approximately 16% of persons forced in the sex trade are in prostitution as a result of religious practices. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2569945/)
Children and their families are often lured by the promise of better employment and a more prosperous life far from their homes. Others are kidnapped and sold. Trafficking violates a child's right to grow up in a family environment and exposes him or her to a range of dangers, including violence, sexual abuse, and HIV-AIDS. (Child trafficking in India: A concern By Dr. Intezar Khan, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi)
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