Sexual exploitation doesn’t only happen in brothels, but also in massage parlours, karaoke café’s, beauty centres, hotels and residential houses. Often, these places have hiding places to hide the minors. Also, victims are lured into exploitation under false pretences and nowadays, this often happens online.
86 arrestees in 2019
During a raid, our team always works together with the local law enforcement agencies. Impunity is a large problem and rescue raids can be very challenging. When our rescue team gets information from an informant, they start investigating. In order to fight impunity, Free a Girl also files charges against the perpetrators. In 2019, our rescue teams, together with the local law enforcement agencies, arrested 86 perpetrators of sexual exploitation. These perpetrators are brothel owners, pimps, madams, human traffickers and customers.
Combatting online exploitation
A major concern in India is that girls are increasingly being offered online. As a result, it is more difficult for Free a Girl and her partners to find minor girls in the red light districts. This is why Free a Girl has organized a workshop in New Delhi with her partners, other NGO’s, universities and government officials to map the online exploitation of children with trainings and online research. Online detection is still at an early stage in India, but we can contribute with the expertise by professionals such as Gideon van Aartsen and Bas Eikelenboom.
6 girls rescued in Nagpur
Just after Christmas, our partner rescued 6 girls from different brothels in Nagpur. One of the survivors is a girl of sixteen years old. Her brothel owner moved her around the city to different brothels in order to prevent us from finding her. Her parents were directly involved in her trafficking and they forced her into commercial sexual exploitation. After multiple investigations, the police and our team luckily found her. She was locked in a room, hiding under a bed. The police searched neighbouring brothels in the area and rescued five other girls. The 3 brothels owners were arrested for human trafficking. We will encourage the girls to report their case so the perpetrators can be convicted. The 16 year old girl cannot be reunited with her family as they were involved in the crime. She will stay in a shelter and will receive medical and psychosocial care and education.