MUMBAI, INDIA – Late last week, IJM helped police and a specialized anti-trafficking unit rescue young women trafficked for sex from a particularly notorious neighborhood, known for its highly protected criminal activity. The successful rescue operation ended months of investigation, indicating that a couple had been trafficking girls from Bangladesh and selling them to men in Mumbai for sex. Three suspects were arrested that night, and IJM will support a case to ensure the suspected traffickers are held accountable according to Indian laws against sex trafficking.
IJM social workers and lawyers helped police safely escort the young women to a nearby police station, where they would eat their first meal in freedom. IJM staff stayed beside the survivors into the early morning hours, explaining what was happening and making sure they had blankets and toiletries to keep them comfortable.
The operation was a success "against all odds," according to IJM Mumbai Field Office Director Sanjay Macwan. He explained that this is the third rescue operation in the area, an area that has been hard to break into because the crime networks are very strong. Each operation has been a struggle against deeply entrenched crime, but each success has shown that impunity does not have to be the rule and sex trafficking can be stopped. "IJM is determined to rescue girls from this area and work towards deterrence by sending traffickers behind bars," Macwan said, adding that cooperation with local police is critical.