South Asia

Runaway Slaves Get Help for Loved Ones Still Trapped

DELHI, INDIA – The smell of burnt charcoal clings to Kalappa’s* skin as he speaks. He raises his eyes and looks at the government official standing in front of him.

“If you hadn’t rescued me, I would have died,” Kalappa says.

Kalappa is one of 16 people rescued from a life of slavery last month in India. Several families—including children as young as 6—were trapped as slaves collecting, chopping and burning chunks of wood into charcoal.

Rescue in Mumbai: Police and IJM Discover a Brothel’s Secret Hiding Spot

MUMBAI, INDIA – Getting inside the brothel is the first challenge: A manager sits outside a locked gate and screens customers. When the creaky gate collapses open, a thick curtain blocks anyone from seeing inside

When a team of Mumbai police and IJM staff entered the brothel on Saturday afternoon, the place was eerily quiet. This was not the first time they had been here. IJM has helped police rescue girls from brothels in this same building five times over four years.

Pop-Up Play in India Raises Awareness About Slavery to Tens of Thousands

CHENNAI, INDIA – The beat of the parai drum fills the  humid air in a small South Indian village. The sun is setting, and a crowd of curious people gathers to watch a lively play.  

One of the actors named Upendra cowers as another performer approaches him with a raised stick, poised to strike. Upendra is playing the role of a man trapped in a brick factory as a forced labor slave. The audience is captivated by the compelling performance, and many breathe audible sighs of relief when, finally, the family is set free.    

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