Sunitha Krishnan is galvanizing India’s battle against sexual slavery by uniting government, corporations and NGOs to end human trafficking.

Why you should listen

Each year, some two million women and children, many younger than 10 years old, are bought and sold around the globe. Impassioned by the silence surrounding the sex-trafficking epidemic, Sunitha Krishnan co-founded Prajwala, or "eternal flame," a group in Hyderabad that rescues women from brothels and educates their children to prevent second-generation prostitution. Prajwala runs 17 schools throughout Hyderabad for 5,000 children and has rescued more than 2,500 women from prostitution, 1,500 of whom Krishnan personally liberated. At its Asha Niketan center, Prajwala helps young victims prepare for a self-sufficient future.

Krishnan has sparked India's anti-trafficking movement by coordinating government, corporations and NGOs. She forged NGO-corporate partnerships with companies like Amul India, Taj Group of Hotels and Heritage Hospitals to find jobs for rehabilitated women. In collaboration with UN agencies and other NGOs, she established printing and furniture shops that have rehabilitated some 300 survivors. Krishnan works closely with the government to define anti-trafficking policy, and her recommendations for rehabilitating sex victims have been passed into state legislation.

What others say

“The sense that thousands and millions of children and young people are being sexually violated and that there’s this huge silence about it around me angers me.” — Sunitha Krishnan

Sunitha Krishnan’s TED talks

Sunitha Krishnan on the TED Blog

TEDIndia

The Buzz: Sunitha Krishnan on the human face of human trafficking

November 6, 2009

Sunitha Krishnan shared heartbreaking stories about some of the 3,200+ girls she has rescued from Indian brothels with her organization Prajwala. Through education, rehabilitation, and job training, she helps to restore hope and dignity to victims, and she encourages us to empathize with and accept trafficking victims as human beings. The Facebook and Twitter audiences […]

Continue reading

Quotes from Sunitha Krishnan

In [India] and across the globe, hundreds and thousands of children, as young as three, four, are sold into sexual slavery. But that’s not the only purpose that human beings are sold for. They are sold in the name of adoption. They are sold in the name of organ trade. They are sold in the name of forced labor, camel jockeying, anything, everything.
Sunitha Krishnan
TEDIndia 2009 • 2.1M views Dec 2009
Courageous, Inspiring
We have trained girls [rescued from sex trafficking] as carpenters, as masons, as security guards, as cab drivers. And each one of them are excelling in their chosen field, gaining confidence, restoring dignity, and building hopes in their own lives.
Sunitha Krishnan
TEDIndia 2009 • 2.1M views Dec 2009
Courageous, Inspiring