South Asia

Trafficker Receives Maximum Punishment After Two Years in Hiding

KOLKATA, INDIA  — Three years ago in a district courtroom outside Kolkata, Maya* stood on the wooden witness stand and boldly shared her story. She declared that the man standing trial had raped and tortured girls trapped in a brothel, threatening them with dire consequences if they refused to obey.

“If you have seen so much abuse and torture in front of your eyes, don’t you want the person who did all this to have justice?” Maya shared afterwards. “If you don’t protest against what he did, he will never be stopped.”

Trafficking Survivor Reacts to Brothel Owner's Conviction

KOLKATA, INDIA – One of the most brutal brothel owners we have ever encountered in our work in India is facing ten years in prison for sex trafficking crimes in two cases. It’s the first time a trafficker has been convicted twice for these crimes in the state of West Bengal.

For IJM staff, this long journey toward began in 2009. For survivors like Prema*, the journey was even longer.

How Prema Was Trafficked

History in the Making: Notorious Trafficker Twice Convicted for Sex Trafficking Crimes

KOLKATA, INDIA – Seven years ago, Nakul Bera thought he was invincible. He ran two brothels with nearly 50 young women he had trafficked into a port town three hours outside Kolkata.

Customers knew they could pay a few dollars to choose a young woman to rape. The women knew they were trapped. One victim said there were only two ways to get out of the brothel: “You either get sold to another brothel, or you die.”

25 Freed From Brick Factory Near Bangalore

BANGALORE, INDIA – Twenty-five people are now free thanks to an IJM-assisted operation on February 18. Held in forced labor slavery in a brick factory near Bangalore, the families were denied any opportunity to leave–even for medical aid.

One survivor shared a harrowing story involving his 5-year-old son, saying, “I have been here for four months, but it feels like four years. My son was hurt on the head, and he started bleeding badly. His shirt was covered in blood. Still the owner would not take him to the hospital.”

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