Roopa* testified bravely against her brothel keeper last year. Following that, another court hearing came up where the opposition lawyer had submitted a duplicate birth certificate of Roopa to try prove she was an adult and not a minor. Freedom Firm staff found out that this certificate was fabricated as it had the date of birth as 30th February, which clearly proves it is false. The public prosecutor asked the staff to approach Roopa’s family to get her original birth certificate and to encourage her parents to testify against the accused brothel keeper. So the social workers visited Roopa’s hometown to obtain her birth certificate, however, the family and villagers said that she did not have a birth certificate as she was born on a farm. The social workers, however, found a birth record in a register of a government nursery school that states her date of birth as 18 February 2001, making her 16 years old and a minor at the time she was held at the brothel. We are also grateful that Roopa’s parents have agreed to testify in court against the brothel keeper on the next court date.
Thank you for your continued support in this fight against sexual exploitation of girls!
Our local partner Freedom Firm is working throughout Maharashtra tirelessly. We collated the results from 2017 and are happy to let you know that your support enabled 168 successful rescue operations to be carried out with local authorities, leading to the freedom of 168 girls!
There was also a legal victory, which saw the conviction of a trafficker. In addition to this, the legal team supported several girls and parents to testify against the traffickers and brothel owners. The legal team trained law enforcement officials on anti-trafficking laws and protocols as well.
The outcome of the constant attempts to rescue girls has resulted in brothel keepers being vary of customers as they are increasingly aware of the work of NGOs and law enforcement agencies. This often puts the investigators in dangerous situations but despite these difficulties the team were able to effectively find and rescue girls.
In particular we’d like to share with you the story of Kari.
Kari is from Rajasthan. Her family is involved in her prostitution. She was 16 years old when she was rescued by Freedom Firm investigators and police in Nagpur in late 2016. After her rescue, she revealed that she had a one-year-old son who might be living with her relatives in Rajasthan. The legal team received information from the police that someone had applied for her custody in the court. Even the probation officer of the government shelter where Kari is staying, assured that Kari was sold and it wasn’t safe for her to return to her family. And this custody case would put her back in danger.
Freedom Firm social workers are now requesting the police to investigate the whereabouts of Kari’s son to prevent her traffickers from blackmailing her and obtaining her custody. The team is very happy about the support provided by local authorities to ensure Kari stays safe.
Thank you for your continued support in this fight against sexual exploitation of girls and in this project!
Free a Girl aims to fight child prostitution in India amongst other countries. Our local partner Freedom Firm is working throughout Maharashtra tirelessly. In the last 6 months, your support has enabled 5 successful raids to be conducted, particularly in Nagpur, where 47 girls were rescued as well as a mass raid in which 92 women and 3 girls were rescued. The mass raid was done in collaboration with the local police, who actually approached the team for assistance in carrying out the raid. Police initiating and getting involved in interventions creates a deterrent against child prostitution and is a very positive outcome. In addition, legal aid has also been provided to these rescued girls where staff supported them in 34 court hearings in the first six months of the year. These girls have also been supported with vocational training, counselling sessions and life skills classes in a government home. We thank you for your help in this fight!
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