Ruchira Gupta is a journalist, social justice activist, feminist campaigner, visiting professor at New York University, Distinguished Scholar at University of California-Berkeley, and founder-president of Indian anti-sex-trafficking organization, Apne Aap Women Worldwide, which serves more than 20,000 at risk and prostituted girls and women and their family members. She has pioneered gender-sensitive interventions to end inter-generational prostitution among De-Notified Tribes in Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

In a 32-year career, she has campaigned relentlessly for a world in which no girl or woman is bought or sold. Among her distinctions are the French Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur, the Litterarum Humaniorum Doctors, Smith College, the Clinton Global Citizen award, Sera Bangali and the Emmy for her documentary,The Selling of Innocents, on the trafficking of children from Nepal to Mumbai.

She led survivors after the 16 Dec bus rape to testify to the Verma Commission and to leaders of political parties in India’s Parliament for the passage of the Indian anti-trafficking law, Section 370 I.P.C, as part of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013.

She participated actively in discussions that led to the passage of the UN Protocol to end Human Trafficking, Especially Women and Children, testified to the US Senate for the passage of the first US Trafficking Victim Protection Act, has spoken in the French Assembly, Icelandic Parliament, South African Parliament, and Indian Parliament for survivor-friendly laws. By taking survivors to speak with her at the UN General Assembly and to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, she has successfully advocated for the creation of the Trafficking Fund for Survivors at the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime.

She contributed to the creation of the National Plan of Action against trafficking in Kosovo and the SG’s Zero Tolerance Policy against Sexual Violence. She has worked with UNAIDS, WHO, UN, UNIFEM and UNICEF in Nepal, Thailand, Kosovo, New York, Washington DC and Iran.

She has designed and currently teaches courses at New York University on Human Trafficking as Gender Based Violence and Movement Building to end Trafficking. She has taught courses on Modern Day Slavery for law students from Seton Hall, at a study abroad program in Zanzibar.

She sits on the board of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution, and The Listen Charity and the Expert Advisory Council of The Global Fund to End Modern Slavery.

She was a member of the expert member of the Government of India’s Planning Commission’s steering committee for women and children for the 11th and 12th Five- year Plans from 2002. In that capacity she helped develop India’s first child protection framework and recommendations for an inter-ministerial approach to trafficking.

She has edited the anthologies-River of Flesh & Other Stories: The Prostituted Woman in Indian Short Fiction and As if Women Matter: The Essential Gloria Steinem Reader. She wrote the first manuals for police on Confronting the Demand for Sex-Trafficking: A Handbook for Law – Enforcement; and for prosecutors on Training Manual for Prosecutors on Confronting Human Trafficking published by United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime. The manuals are still used by law enforcement agencies in India.

She is the editor of a journal published by SAGE, Antyajaa: Indian Journal of Women and Social Change

Gupta has worked for various UN agencies worldwide prior to founding Apne Aap. Among these are UNICEF in New York and Iran, UNIFEM in New York, and the United Nations Mission to Kosovo. She also served as the Anti-Trafficking Expert for the USAID, a consultant for UNAIDS in Thailand and the World Health Organization in Nepal and India. Prior to that she was a journalist for 14 years in The Telegraph, The Sunday Observer, Business India and the BBC. She holds and M.Arts in English Literature.

Watch Ruchira’s Documentary