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Prostitution goes cyber in Chennai

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Summary of story from the Times of India, April 20, 2011.

Prostitution has become a well-organised cyber-business in Chennai (formerly Madras), India.

Pimps there are making use of cyber tools, such as webcams and social networking sites, to get more customers so that, increasingly, introductions are being made, and deals are being struck, in cyberspace.

The profiles of those working in the trade are also changing.

One senior police officer was quoted as saying that “The prostitutes are no more minor girls from rural areas. Today we find college girls and even house wives who voluntarily sign up for the business.”

In one case, a woman rescued by the police turned out to be a Pakistani airhostess.

In March, just under 20 housewives were trapped by decoys, but they were let off.

“When we go on raids, we used to have a policeman as a decoy in the past. But pot-bellied cops arouse suspicion, and so now we hire, for a fee, people who look like young IT professionals to act as decoys,” the officer says.

WVoN comment: I challenge the notion that women are ‘voluntarily’ taking part in prostitution.  Prostitution is a violent crime against women and regardless of the demographic of the women involved, they cannot be said to be ‘volunteering’ for it.

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