KOLKATA, INDIA – Laughter and the crash of bowling pins tumbling down fills the air. A popular song begins to play, and dozens of girls shout and sing along. It could be an afternoon of fun anywhere in the world, but for the nearly 150 girls gathered in Kolkata, this afternoon is a standout event. The girls, many of them teenagers and some of them young mothers, are sex trafficking survivors.
CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES – Last week, IJM helped local police rescue half a dozen young women trafficked for sex. Several of the women are young mothers, and a few are still in school while trying to provide for children. All are extremely poor. As they shared their stories with IJM staff, they explained how the pimps who trafficked them were taking advantage of very desperate needs.
CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES – In July 2012, a manager of a local karaoke bar was convicted of trafficking, sentenced to life in prison and ordered to pay a steep fine of 5 million pesos. The battle in court lasted more than three years.
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.