Trafficking victims reunited with families
|Rajani especially excelled in embroidery and she presented the aftercare home with a wall hanging she created before she lef
Traffickers operating across the Bangladesh-India border had trapped the women by promising them high paying jobs in India’s big cities. “My husband had so many debts and we had no way to repay them. A job in India was our only way out,” said Rajani, who had to leave her husband and three children in Bangladesh and travel with a dalal** to an alien country where she knew no one and didn’t speak a word of the language.
But when the women arrived in Mumbai; their hopes for a way out of poverty quickly evaporated. Instead they were plunged into a brutal world of torture and abuse. They were sold to a brothel in Mumbai and forced to have sex with customers. They were kept under lock and key and none of them were given any money.
After they were rescued they began the long wait for repatriation to Bangladesh. Repatriation is a complex and lengthy procedure involving the co-operation and good will of both countries to identify victims of trafficking and provide them with papers for their safe return.
Lalita, Sweta and Rajani spent one-and-a-half years in an aftercare home in Mumbai, waiting to see their families again. But Justice and Care made sure that they put their time to good use. The women received counselling to help them deal with the trauma they had suffered. The Care and Intervention team also enrolled them in sewing, embroidery and literacy classes, according to their interests. Rajani especially excelled in embroidery and she presented the aftercare home with a wall hanging she created before she left. They now plan to use their new skills to find jobs or start small businesses in their villages.
The repatriation order finally came through and Lalita, Sweta and Rajani were very excited as they boarded the train for a 2000 km journey, heading for their hometowns on 27th November.
Justice and Care’s partner organisation, Rights Jessore, met them on the other side of the border and made sure they got home safely. They will keep visiting the young women to help them do well and to ensure there is no risk of re-trafficking. Our own team will also visit them very soon.
*Names changed to protect identities
** local name for the traffickers who illegally move people, money and goods across the borders.