KOLKATA, INDIA – A 16-year-old girl was running down a residential street just outside Kolkata. She looked desperate, but determined. Neighbors stopped her, and asked her why she was running. She told them she was running away. She said was running from the woman who was chasing her, the madam who she said had held her captive for the past two months in her home.
CHENNAI, INDIA – This week, eight men and women were set free from forced labor slavery in India.
They had begun working to repay a loan they had taken out from the owner of a tree-cutting facility. But 15 years later, many of them were nowhere closer to repaying the original loan – they were trapped in a cycle of slavery. The owner ran his business by moving the forced laborers from one plot of trees to the next, in turn constantly moving the men and women from one village to the next.
KOLKATA, INDIA – Five minutes after they received a call from Kolkata police, IJM social workers and a lawyer were in a car and on their way to the brothel. The city police had conducted a successful anti-trafficking operation at the brothel operating out of a private residence, and they called IJM for assistance with critical follow-up.
CHENNAI, INDIA – Late last week, IJM helped government officials in a rural area outside Chennai to rescue families forced to work as slaves in a rice mill and rock quarry. When the team of IJM staff and officials arrived, the families were hard at work – including several children.