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.
Beli was 14 years old when she was abducted from her home in Katmandu and forced to work in a brothel in Bombay. Beli was beaten, given little food and had her movement restricted.
After the brothel owners beat me, they sent me in to my room. The men did many things to me there. The madams even beat me when I came out of the room. They beat me a lot.
I ended up in the brothel because 2 women in Nepal befriended me and took me to watch a movie. When I asked for a drink of water, they mixed some kind of drug in the water. Then I was taken to Bombay and I was sold to the brothel owners.
I had many welts on my body from being beaten. It used to hurt, they did not feed me well. In the morning I got rice and, in the evening, they used to give me rotten rice that they had gotten outside the brothel.
I would wake up around 1 o clock then I’d brush my teeth and by the time I had finished eating it would be 3 o clock. Then I would put on my makeup and wait.
They used to lock us up with a huge padlock on the main door. It had steel all around. We were never allowed out on the street to get anything, the madams had everything brought in to us.
Narrative provided by ACRATH