Family Sex Trafficking Among the Bedia Caste of India: Defying the Dominant Human Trafficking Discourse

Rochelle L. Dalla, Kaitlin Roselius, Sarah Erwin, Jessie Peter, Trupti Jhaveri Panchal, Ramani Ranjan, Mrinalini Mischra, Sagar Sahu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Largely characterized as an urban issue, empirical studies of minor sex trafficking in rural communities—including India, a global hotspot for child sex trafficking—are exceptionally uncommon. Yet, the commercial sexual exploitation of children thrives in many rural Indian villages, fueled by caste discrimination, family tradition, and poverty. In response, this study aimed to investigate minor sex trafficking among a particular culturally unique and geographically isolated population, in relation to the dominant human trafficking literature. In-depth interviews were conducted with 31 female members of the Bedia caste—a unique population whose primary form of income is derived from participation in the rural sex trade. Framed by the social theory of intersectionality, we sought to (1) identify vulnerabilities for commercial sex industry entry among Bedia youth and (2) examine the cultural context of the commercial sex industry among the Bedia, with particular attention to the dominant victim/perpetrator paradigms. Implications for continued research, practice, and policy are included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)NP22966-NP22991
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number23-24
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Bedia
  • India
  • minor sex trafficking
  • victim/perpetrator paradigm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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