Freedom Fund partner Guria works in the red light area of Varanasi. In 2005, Guria was notified about a group of girls who had been trafficked from various areas of India and forced into situations of sexual exploitation.
Guria submitted an application before the district administration for their immediate liberation. Shortly after, Guria and a team of police officials visited the site in which the girls were being held and removed seven girls. A case was lodged against nine accused perpetrators, launching a 10 year long legal battle, including a case against one of the most notorious traffickers in northern India.
The long and arduous process involved filing an application, pressuring courts to reject bail, and preparing and summoning one of the survivors for deposition before the trial to present evidence against the traffickers. During this process, Guria ensured the survivor’s willingness to participate and provided witness protection, livelihood, and emotional support. Based on the evidence that this survivor presented, the legal system convicted all of the accused individuals in December 2016. The convicted individuals were sentenced to ten years of imprisonment and penalty under different sections of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956.
Today the survivor lives at home with her husband and children.
The Freedom Fund’s Northern India Hotspot aims to reduce trafficking, bonded labour and harmful child labour in two of India’s poorest states. Working with frontline organisations, we help communities build resistance to trafficking and slavery and reintegrate individuals coming out of situations of exploitation. Find out more about the Freedom Fund’s Northern India Hotspot.
Photo credit: Alice Carfrae, Legatum Limited, 2017