By Mark Ellis, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
INDIA — (ANS – October 18, 2017) — Teams connected to International Justice Mission (IJM) led eight successful rescue operations in eight days, freeing a total of 88 people from sex trafficking and bonded labor slavery.
On September 14, IJM assisted police in saving four girls from a private sex trafficking network in Kolkata. The youngest girl was 13-years-old. She and the others were moved around constantly by traffickers who were selling them for sex in homes and apartments—making it very difficult for authorities to pinpoint their location, according to IJM.
The first attempt to rescue the girls failed, but after a persistent search all the victims were liberated. They are currently recovering in an aftercare shelter, and five suspects face charges for abusing them.
On September 18, IJM in Chennai worked with government officials to free a family of nine trapped in bonded labor slavery for 10 years.
“This family had taken a small loan from the owner of a rock quarry, but he forced them to work in grueling conditions and manipulated their debt to keep them trapped,” according to IJM. “The family was isolated in a tiny, thatched house away from the village; no one knew they were being exploited as bonded labor slaves.”
2“Several of the children were even born at the quarry.”
The family is now safe and being supported by local government partners of IJM to rebuild their lives. The man who enslaved them is in custody and has been charged under India’s anti-slavery laws.
On that same day, IJM Delhi worked with a partnering NGO, Jan Sahas, to free seven children enslaved as shepherds in a rural area. The youngest boy is 7-years-old.
“He and the other children were forced to walk sheep across huge distances to graze, leaving the boys vulnerable to hunger, exhaustion and exposure under the hot Indian sun,” according to IJM.
The children are now being cared for by local officials and Jan Sahas staff, and the investigation will continue into how they became enslaved.
Photo captions: 1) Chennai charcoal operation (IJM). 2) Shepherd boys freed (IJM). 3) Mark Ellis.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), and is also the founder of www.GodReports.com, a website that shares testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions. Previously, Mark co-hosted a TV show called “Windows on the World” with ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, aired on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (http://hsbn.tv), which is now co-hosted by Dr. Garry Ansdell, Senior Pastor of Hosanna Christian Fellowship in Bellflower, California.
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