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Sex-trafikken med barn er økende. Det er snakk om det rene slaveri, skriver Nicholas Kristof. De kidnappes på gaten, forrådes av sine nærmeste. Bare i India er det anslått at det er 500.000 barnesex-slaver. Han forteller historien til en av dem, Geeta.

Geeta grew up in a village in rural India and attended only two months of school; like many of the girls who are trafficked, she is illiterate. Her own family abused her, but at age 11 she found refuge with her best friend’s aunt.

For a year, «Auntie» looked after Geeta with a warmth that she had never found at home. Then one day when Geeta was 12 – but still physically a little girl, well short of puberty – the aunt took her to a beauty parlor. «You look a bit ugly, so why not try to look prettier?» Auntie suggested.

Then the aunt locked her in a soundproof room in a brothel with an Arab man who bought her virginity. «I was very terrified to see this huge man in front of me,» Geeta remembers, adding, «I cried a lot and fell to his feet, pleading.»

«He pulled off my dress, and the rapes went on for a month like that. He made me sleep naked beside him, and he drank a lot, and he hurt me so much.»

After that, the brothel owner peddled Geeta daily for five years – and only after eight months as a prostitute did she mature enough to get her first period. The brothel owner kept her confined in the brothel for the first three years, beating her with sticks and threatening her with a knife to warn what would happen if Geeta tried to escape.

«There was a big drain in the house for sewage,» Geeta remembers. «The madam said, ‘If you ever try to run away, we’ll chop you up and throw the pieces down this drain.’ «

After three years, Geeta was allowed on the street in front of the brothel. But although police officers sometimes walked by, she says that running to them would have been pointless – the madam paid them good bribes, so they would simply have returned her to the brothel.

One taxi driver regularly visited Geeta, and gradually they became close. «It may not have been love, but he was sympathetic,» she says. Finally, he helped her escape from the brothel, and now they are married and have four children.

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