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Rescued Girl Helps Police Topple Sex Trafficking Ring

conviction, India, rescue, restoration, sex trafficking

Written by IJM
Posted on 02 March 2020 under Recent posts, Sex trafficking.

MUMBAI, INDIA – In early November, IJM helped Mumbai police free a 16-year-old girl from sex trafficking in a complex, multi-stage operation. Following her rescue, Farhat* has shown remarkable courage by assisting police to ensure other girls might never be abused.

In this case, IJM and local authorities had learned about a group of traffickers selling minor girls for sex through a secretive, invite-only network. These networks don’t sell girls in traditional brothels or bars. Instead, their web of contacts exploits girls at private appointments in unsuspecting homes or apartments across the city.

Our team heard about Farhat being exploited this way, but it took three attempts to infiltrate the network and finally find her in person. We also knew about two women suspected of exploiting her—one was the 45-year-old woman who ran the racket, and another was a 20-year-old who lured teen girls into sexual exploitation.

On November 1, police conducted a rescue operation at the targeted apartment where they found Farhat at last and brought her to safety. Officers arrested both suspects, as well as a third woman who was similarly offering minor girls for sex in the apartment next door.

Social workers present at the operation provided Farhat with immediate post-rescue counselling. She was then brought to a shelter home for further aftercare and a chance to rest.

In the days that followed, she bravely offered to help police trace additional traffickers in the network. On November 6, with approval from the government’s Child Welfare Committee (CWC), she assisted police in finding and arresting the woman who first trafficked her for sex.

“Despite not being able to see clearly due to a problem with her eyes, Farhat was extremely cooperative towards assisting the police and locating her traffickers,” recalls her IJM social worker. “She provided the correct address and identified the accused, even though she is timid.”

Police have lodged a case against the four arrested suspects under India’s laws against sex trafficking and child abuse. They are continuing to investigate other pimps and customers within this trafficking web and are hoping to free other girls awaiting rescue.

*A pseudonym and model have been used to protect the identity of this survivor.

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International Justice Mission is a global organisation that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems.

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