There are an estimated almost 8 million people living in modern slavery in India (GSI 2018). India has a population of more than 1.3 billion people, there are still at least 270 million people living on less than US$1.90 per day. While laws, systems and attitudes regarding key 'fault lines' such as the caste system, gender and feudalism are rapidly changing, social change of this depth and scale necessarily takes time. In this context, it is perhaps unsurprising that existing research suggests that all forms of modern slavery continue to exist in India, including intergenerational bonded labour, forced child labour, commercial sexual exploitation, forced begging, forced recruitment into nonstate armed groups and forced marriage.
Minara was trafficked after a local man convinced her mother he could find her a job in Kolkata.
A local man named Hori convinced my mother that he would find an office job for me in Kolkata. My salary would be 3000 rupees. I did not agree to go but my mother was adamant to send me. I told my mother that he could sell me in Kolkata. My mother replied: "He is not that kind of man". I came with Hori and he sold me in Khidderpore (Watgonj) for 20,000 rupees.
Narrative located in the report ‘Beyond Boundaries: A Critical Look at Women Labour Migration and the Trafficking Within’ by Thérèse Blanchet provided courtesy of The Child Protection Hub