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.
Sonia was persuaded to leave her village by a man who promised her work in the city. However when she got there, he locked her up, raped her, and forced her into sex work.
My name is Sonia. I am 17-years-old and I’m one of 25 million people trapped into forced labour. I used to have a normal life and I used to live in a small village in the countryside. My parents worked in the field right from the morning until the night and one day a man came, he said he’ll get me a good job. He said he’ll get me a good job as a maid in the city. But he lied. He locked me up, he raped me, and so did his friends and then they forced me into prostitution.
How can people be so cruel? How will I ever escape?
Narrative provided by 50forfreedom