On October 3, IJM assisted local authorities and a partner NGO in rescuing two minor girls from sex trafficking and arresting two suspects involved in the case.
These 16- and 17-year-old girls were being exploited in a brothel in an area called Budge Budge, a small suburb southeast of Kolkata. This community has a smaller red-light area than the big city, but it still proved difficult to manage risks and free the girls.
Our partner NGO Freedom Firm had discovered the victims and was working on the case with local police. They asked for IJM’s help to ensure the safety of the operation and to guide them with legal procedures. Our team was able to help create a detailed rescue plan and build a strong legal case right from the start, so these girls have a better chance at securing justice long-term.
On the night of the operation, the rescue team entered the brothel, confirmed the facts of the girls’ experience and brought them to safety. From here, the government will help place them in a safe aftercare home to begin healing.
Police arrested the two suspects—one man and one woman—who had been profiting from the girls’ abuse. IJM connected Freedom Firm to a contracted lawyer who helped ensure proper charges were filed under India’s laws against human trafficking and child abuse and provided insight into how to take the legal case forward.
Overall, the IJM team was deeply impressed and grateful for the collaboration between police, Freedom Firm and our team to help these two teen girls. These types of agile partnerships are helping to ensure more and more victims are freed from trafficking every year, and hopefully ensuring thousands more will never be abused.