Country information: India
AT A GLANCE
3.287.590 square kilometres
1.17 billions (July 2009)
New Delhi (321.883 inhabitants, agglomeration: 18,4 million inhabitants 2008)
Hindi, English and 21 regional languages
Gross national product per capita
US $ 2 800 (2008)
1.55 per cent (2009)
69,9 years (men: 67,5 years, women: 72,6 years) (2009)
32,3 per 1 000 live births (2009)
Rate of illiteracy
39,5 % (2007)
Tourism plays an increasingly important role for India and is the country’s second largest source of foreign currency. More than 5 million Indians are employed by the tourism industry, and 12 million are indirectly dependent on it. Further development of the tourism sector is planned. From the year 2005 to the year there have been a growth of 19 percent.
Individual tourism and package tourism are equally important. Above all Western Europeans, North Americans, and Australians come to India for its varied cultural and religious monuments, as well as for the wide beaches of Goa and the coastal areas in the east, west and south of the country. According to UNWTO in 2005, approximately 3,5 million guests visited the country and brought 5,9 billion Euro into the country.
Commercial sexual exploitation of children in tourism
In recent years bars and discotheques have opened up, in part as a result of growing tourism. In connection with this, there has also been a growth of prostitution and cases of trafficking in humans.
According to estimates from ECPAT und UNICEF published in the middle of the 1990s, between 400 000 and 500 000 children were forced into prostitution in India. Their risk of becoming infected with HIV is particularly high, since forced sexual intercourse with adults frequently leads to serious physical damage. They find themselves in a vicious circle of exploitation that few of them are able to escape from. Drugs offer one way of coping with the problems, but at the same time this weakens the body's immune system and increases the likelihood contracting diseases and AIDS.
Human trafficking takes place along the traditional trading routes. From Nepal, for example, between five and seven thousand girls, between eight and 18 years of age are brought to India and other countries to work in brothels. According to the United Nations there are 150 000 prostitutes from Nepal in India's cities. Some Hindu castes practice prostitution along the trading routes, sometimes with the knowledge of the authorities.
India on 11 December 1992 ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and has undertaken to protect children against all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
Anyone observing a case of child abuse should report this to the tour operator, tour guides and hotels. Some cases have already been reported by tourists. Embassies and non-governmental organisations such as ANKARUM in Hyderabad and CRG (Children Rights In Goa) and Jan Ugahi in Goa can also be contacted and they will follow up such cases.
HIV / Aids
With the spread of prostitution, there are also fears of an increase in the frequency of HIV and AIDS. According to estimates from UNAIDS and the World Health Organization, in 2007 some 2.4 million Indians were infected with HIV, including 880.000 women. How many children were infected and how many Indians died in this year, could not be estimated.
Terre des Hommes Germany – Regional Co-ordination Office for South Asia
Opp Police Lines
Pandita Ramabai Road
Pudumjee Park, Nana Peth,
Pune 411 002, India
Phone +91-20-2634 40 28
Fax +91-20-2634 40 29
Children's Rights in Goa
F-5 Meera Buildings
Near Gomantak Bhavan
Panaji, Goa - 403 001, India
Phone: +91 832 2426518
Childline India Foundation
Nana Chowk Municipal School
Mumbai - 400 007, India
Phone: +91 22 23881098
Fax: +91 22 381 1098
23/25 7th Cross, Vigyan
Nagar, New Thippasandra Post
Bangalore 560075, India
Phone: + 91 80 5244988
Fax: + 91 80 5344149 extn 41
Liberal Assocation for Movement of People (LAMP)
66 Surya Sen Street
Kolkata 700009, India
Phone: +91 33 241 8496
Fax: +91 33 241 6983
Manav Kalyan Sansthan
(Human Welfare Society)
Jopdhpur 342010, India
Phone: +91 291 255 0390
Fax: +91 291 255 0390
CIVILIZATION AND CULTURE
State and society
India, the world's largest parliamentary democracy, consists of 31 union states and territories.
The income of the middle-classes has increased ten-fold in recent years. However, almost three-quarters of the population are cut off from modern infrastructure in the countryside, and face a struggle to survive: 265 million Indians live below the poverty line. Two-fifths of Indian children are malnourished. The sub-continent has the world's highest rate of child mortality.
In India many religions exist side-by-side. Some three-quarters of the population are Hindus, almost one-eighth are Moslems, three per cent each are Christians and Sikhs, the remainder are Buddhists and others. Religion plays an important role in everyday life. For all religious groups, sexual relations are only permitted within marriage. The family is held in high esteem.
There is legal equality for men and women. They have the same rights to education and equal wages. As in western countries, there are nevertheless very serious differences between this formal situation and the actual situation in everyday life. In some basic areas of life there is emancipation of women, but in others progress remains to be made. The difference is due in part to religious traditions. For example, according to the Laws of Manu, the women is subordinate to men all her life, firstly to her father, then her husband, and after his death to her son. Under these laws a woman is expected to honour her husband, and no relationships are tolerated with other men. Women should not smoke in public, should not touch hands with men and should not embrace or kiss anybody.
Children are well cared for, whether they grow up in monotheistic or polytheistic households. The families wish the same for their children as any parents in Europe would wish for their children: a good education and a happy future. Religious traditions demand that, for example a dowry be provided for a daughter, which is a considerable financial burden for many families. If someone promises to provide the daughter with a good job, then people may sell them, though this is rarely done with a lack of scruples, but rather out of ignorance and necessity.
The Indian economy is growing at a rate of five to six per cent per annum, and it has a leading role in software development and information technology.