In October one of WIN’s anti-trafficking teams successfully rescued 21 victims of trafficking, including seven teenaged girls.
WIN’s Raid and Rescue
Having previously done a great deal of research into this case, our activist visited the shelter home in. She sat down and talked with one of the residents, a girl named Hope. Hope realized that our emancipation coordinator really cared about her and was there to help her. So she opened-up her heart.
Hope revealed the horrible dark secret that for months she had no one to tell; her torture and abuse had continued! Just like the fake shelter home she had come from, this one was also a brothel. The misery of the girls had not ended and they were still being sexually exploited, only at a different location.
Our coordinator and her team meticulously planned-out a raid with the objective of rescuing all the girls from the bogus “shelter home” which actually was a type of brothel. Two days before the scheduled date of the raid the team visited the town disguised as tourists. They met with people near a famous landmark in order to fine-tune the plan based on details from locals.
The local people informed our team that most of these women had been forced into the network due to sheer helplessness arising out of poverty. Many of the girls’ parents actually consented to the forceful exploitation of their daughters in exchange for money. There were over 100 families who were thus willingly allowing this horrific exploitation of their own daughters.
It was impossible to proceed with a raid without the cooperation of the local law enforcement, so the senior police officer and the District Magistrate, who also served as the anti-human trafficking officer, were appraised of the situation. As a result, the authorities dispatched 50 women constables to conduct the raid.
As soon as the police constables surrounded and entered the building, those operating the institution began to fight back. They tried to attack our coordinator and her team, while the girls attempted to flee, as they had been brainwashed by their pimps to believe that the people raiding the bogus safe home were bad. The ensuing scuffle between the police and the brothel/shelter personnel lasted for hours, during which some of the police force were injured. In the end, the police and our team prevailed. 21 girls were rescued.
The girls were sent for a medical check-up as mandated by law. Three days later, the reports revealed that all 21 girls were pregnant. Fake identity cards had been forged for each of the victimized girls and since their factual dates of birth were not known the authorities found it challenging to determine which girls were actually minors. Eventually seven of the 21 were acknowledged to be minors.
Those seven were sent to a different shelter home. The girls who were not proven to be minors were sent back to the homes of their parents, who had allowed this horrific exploitation of their own daughters. So, despite the heroics of the rescue team, a lot remains to be done. The minor girls sent to a different shelter home, still stand exposed to the threats of being trafficked for sex. The girls sent back to parental custody may soon find themselves pushed back into prostitution when faced with hunger, poverty and a legal system full of loopholes.
There is still much to do to ensure these girls do not end up in a vulnerable situation again. Please consider standing with us so that we can place these girls in schools and vocational training programs so that they can have a chance at a bright future. Give today.