After locating minors in a brothel in Matia, an area 4 hours north east from Kolkata, West Bengal, the Freedom Firm team approached the Basirhat police to conduct a rescue operation. On Thursday, March 6th, 4 minors, and 6 majors were rescued.
This was an international trafficking case since 5 of the girls were trafficked from Bangladesh. The other 5 girls were residents of West Bengal. Ashwin Rathod, Freedom Firm’s Regional Director of Pune says, “The four minors were placed in a government children’s home and the rest in a State home for majors.”
A total of 5 perpetrators were arrested, and the police have filed strong criminal cases against the accused. Our social workers are providing trauma counseling to the girls and will fight to keep them from being released too soon, or given back to their perpetrators.
This rescue is a huge victory, coming after months of delay, stalling, disappointments, and frustration. The rescue was a collaborative effort with support from the International Justice Mission (IJM) and Justice Ventures International (JVI). We were thrilled to be working alongside NGO's that are passionate to end the sex trafficking of minors.
Today, we celebrate and are mindful of the girls' tremendous moment of freedom, and their opportunity for a new life. Thank you for caring about these girls in India and for celebrating with us today. Each one is precious.