The Global Slavery Index estimates that 8 million trafficking victims live within India’s borders. The eastern state of Bihar ranks among the highest states for human trafficking. Bihar is an area where JVI works to bring freedom, justice and restoration to the vulnerable and oppressed.
On May 14th 2019, JVI collaborated with local police and NGO partner Adithi, to rescue five minor females from a brothel in Sitamarhi (a district in Bihar). The victims had been lured by the traffickers under the false pretext of marriage. They were illegally confined to the brothel, forced into prostitution and exploited for monetary gains. They did not receive any money from the brothel Madam and were forced to live off tips (equivalent to 30 – 50 cents) that the customers left for them.
During the raid, JVI assisted the police in collecting evidence such as ID cards, bank slips and cash. Social workers and female counselors secured the victims and took them to a private room for counseling.
Following the raid, the victims were transported to a local hospital for examinations and placed them into an aftercare facility. The five accused were arrested on the spot and sent to judicial custody.
JVI lawyers worked closely with the government officials to ensure the police complaint included relevant legal sections of the law such as the Indian Penal Code, Juvenile Justice Act, Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA) and the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. JVI lawyers will also assist the prosecution on an ongoing basis.
JVI will continue to work with the survivors to reunite them with their families, where appropriate, and ensure they have access to education and other resources to enjoy a life of dignity and freedom.
“Victims are usually traumatized after the rescue and do not open up easily. They need to feel safe and secure before they share their story. These survivors are now enrolled in our aftercare program which will provide them with rehabilitative assistance which is crucial for their social reintegration.”
– JVI’s Aftercare Coordinator
Click here to learn more about JVI’s Sustained Freedom Project in Bihar and what you can do to support our efforts in this region.