South Asia

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.”

333 Slaves Rescued in Second Largest Operation in IJM History

CHENNAI, INDIA – More than three hundred people are waking up today in freedom. This time last week they were up before sunrise making bricks that would be sold for another’s profit.

In what can best be described as a dramatic shift against slavery, the Tamil Nadu state government rescued 333 forced labor slaves from a brick factory last week. This is the second-largest rescue operation IJM has ever assisted.