KOLKATA, INDIA – The crowd stirred in their seats, eager for the dance performance to begin. A police officer from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), a major police force in West Bengal, India, stood to address the room. While a law enforcement officer seems an unusual emcee, this show was an exceptional one: The 19 dancers about to perform were all sex trafficking survivors.
CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES – Three girls who had been trafficked and routinely sold for sex were rescued late last week in an undercover operation. The girls shared similar stories: all came from extremely impoverished families. The youngest was only 14 years old. What had started out like so many other dark nights on the Cebu streets ended with a new beginning.
KOLKATA, INDIA – Like many Bangladeshi girls, Shohela* loves dance, especially the traditional kinds of dance her culture is known for. So she was thrilled when she found out she could dance and earn much-needed money in India.
But as soon as Shohela arrived in Kolkata, she learned she would be required to do much more than dance. She had been trafficked to a brothel in a major red-light district. That same night, she was sold to the first man who would pay to rape her.
PAMPANGA, THE PHILIPPINES – This weekend, a new day began for girls rescued from a small bar selling underage girls for sex on one of Pampanga's main streets. IJM assisted the Philippine National Police with a rescue operation on Friday, November 16, 2012.