Ruchira Gupta

Ruchira Gupta is featured in the second night of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.


Ruchira Gupta is the founder and president of Apne Aap Women Worldwide, a grassroots organization in India working to end sex trafficking by increasing choices for at-risk girls and women. She has strived over her 25-year career to highlight the link between trafficking and prostitution laws and to lobby policymakers to shift the blame from victims to perpetrators. She testified in the United States Senate before the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000. She also lobbied with other activists at the United Nations during the formulations for the U.N. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, which resulted in the first U.N. instrument to address demand for trafficking — Article 9.


In 2009 Gupta won the Clinton Global Citizen Award and in 2007 the Abolitionist Award at the U.K. House of Lords. In 2008 and 2009, Gupta addressed the U.N. General Assembly on human trafficking. She won an Emmy in 1997 for her work on the documentary The Selling of Innocents, which inspired the creation of Apne Aap. Her work has been featured in 11 books, including Half the Sky by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof.

Prior to founding Apne Aap, Gupta worked in the U.N. in various capacities in 12 countries for over ten years. She is on the board of Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and on the advisory councils of the Polaris Project, Vital Voices, Ricky Martin Foundation, Asia Society, Nomi Network and Cents of Relief.