Her family had few economic options, and at age 11 she was pulled out of school to contribute to their expenses. She met a man who promised her a job and persuaded her to travel to Kathmandu, Nepal. Instead, she was taken into India by a trafficker and sold to a brothel in Kolkata.
Amala was sexually abused by customers multiple times a day.
During this time, police worked in Kolkata with another international human rights organization to investigate the brothel, collecting evidence of trafficking and exploitation. One year after she was sold, Amala and 18 other girls were rescued.
Amala was free, but the trafficker was still out there.
After social workers deemed Amala’s home environment unsafe, she was brought to a children’s home operated by a partner of Justice Ventures International (JVI). She focused on rebuilding the childhood she had lost.
Nine years later, three girls went missing from a local village in Nepal. A suspected trafficker was apprehended in the case. When a JVI team member showed Amala the suspect’s police photo, she identified him as the same man who trafficked her.
Amala courageously stepped forward and agreed to file a complaint against him. JVI then appointed a lawyer and walked with Amala through each step of the court process, providing the support she needed to boldly testify about the horrific ordeal she had endured.
Amala and JVI won the case.
Her perpetrator, a notorious trafficker, was sentenced to 15 years in jail and a substantial fine. Significantly, the case was won in a village in Nepal that is a major source district for traffickers.
“This is a case that will shake traffickers.”
– JVI Nepal Program Manager
Because of Amala’s courage and the commitment of JVI and its partners, justice was brought to dozens of girls who had been trafficked and many more whose lives are now spared because he is behind bars.
Today, Amala is continuing her education and hopes to earn a degree in social work, where she can make a difference in the lives of other young women and girls.
*For Amala’s security and privacy, name and photo have been changed. Image is a model and used for illustrative purposes only.