The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. The GSI 2018 reports an emerging trend in northeast India where organised trafficking syndicates operate along the open and unmanned international borders, duping or coercing young girls seeking employment outside their local area in to forced sexual exploitation. Many women and girls are lured with the promise of a good job but then forced in to sex work, with a 'conditioning' period involving violence, threats, debt bondage and rape.
Sadhna was 11 years old when her father passed away. Her family was left with no money in their village, so they moved to Kolkata in search of work. Sadhna was struggling as a house cleaner when a local woman offered her a new job. Sadhna followed the woman to a house filled with strange men and beer. She was given a glass of water and immediately fell unconscious. She woke to find she had been raped and was now to be sold for sex from a private brothel, she was 14 years old. Sadhna was rescued by IJM and now shares her story with other girls in India.
My name is Sadhna. As a small child, I was fearless. I used to climb trees and pick fruits, run around and go fishing. I wasn’t scared of anyone or anything.
Because of what happened to me, I was very afraid.
I felt at that time nothing was going to change. My life was worthless.
Now I have even more courage than before.
Narrative provided by International Justice Mission (IJM)