Since January 2015, Freedom Firm has rescued 6 girls in Uttar Pradesh, at least 4 of whom were minor. Sadly in April, all 6 girls were released by local magistrates to parents and guardians who may have been complicit in their trafficking. In one case a minor girl was rescued and her mother arrested as one of the brothel keepers. Despite this, the magistrate released the girl into the custody of her father.
This is a clear violation of proper legal procedure as magistrates are only allowed to release major girls after an inquiry is done. In the case of minors, only the Child Welfare Committee has the authority to release girls.
Disappointing as it is, this is not surprising. We have experienced a chronic lack of government protection in Nagpur, Maharashtra as well. Freedom Firm is consulting with local advocates to petition the Allahabad High Court to take measures to protect minor girls after they are rescued from prostitution.