Dozens Rescued From Slavery on Worm-Harvesting Farm

Written by Sanjay Sojwal, IJM Director of Field Communications, who is in India on assignment. 

CHENNAI, INDIA — Thirty people are now readjusting to life outside the confines of slavery. Just days ago, children and parents alike were standing in knee-high mud digging up mounds of clay and pulling out rusty-red worms. They were slaves.

Monday was an exhilarating and a draining day. My IJM colleagues and I joined local government officials and police to rescue the families from this worm-picking business.

Young Women Rescued From ‘VIP’ Rooms at Seemingly Innocuous Bar

PAMPANGA, THE PHILIPPINES — Four young women who were once exploited in “VIP rooms” in a seedy bar in the Philippines are now free. This past month, the local anti-trafficking police arrested three suspects, and rescued the young women, including one minor.

The bar seemed nondescript from the outside—a plain front was lit up by flashing neon lights, and a parking lot just off the road invited passerby in for a quick drink. But inside, ten rooms were labeled “VIP,” and in these small spaces girls were routinely sold to the bar’s customers for sex.

Mumbai Priest Arrested in Occultist Ritual Admits to Exploiting Nearly Two Dozen Girls

Police recently arrested a priest in Mumbai for sexually exploiting girls under the guise of embodying a spirit, the priest telling the families they would receive divine financial favor. Upon his arrest, the priest admitted to raping at least 22 girls. IJM was alerted to the case by an official who had recently attended an IJM training and asked for logistical assistance. Since January 2015, IJM Mumbai has trained more than 3,500 police and police trainees in the state of Maharashtra on how to handle human trafficking cases.