SEPTEMBER 2016 WINNER

Restoring the Innocent

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Protect Women and Girls from Sex Trafficking 

Kolkata is home to one of the largest and oldest red-light districts in the world. Some estimate up to 6,000 women work in Sonagachi, a cramped maze of narrow alleys and crumbling buildings that could fit in one city block. 

Once trafficked, victims find themselves facing violence as a constant threat. In IJM cases, sex trafficking survivors have described being beaten with sticks, clubs, electrical cords and metal rods; forcibly injected with narcotics; and forced to watch their own children be physically abused. 

The vast majority of victims of trafficking come from backgrounds of poverty. Impoverished women and girls are especially susceptible to traffickers' schemes of deception because the desperation of their economic situation makes them (or their parents or caretakers) more willing to take risks – so they are more likely to accept a perpetrators' fraudulent job offer or insincere marriage proposal, to move to another location or migrate to another country, or to believe other deceptive techniques criminals use to entrap victims. 

IJM rescue victims by identifying brothels, hotels and other locations where women and young girls are being trafficked. We partner with police agencies in Kolkata and the state of West Bengal to rescue the victims, walking closely with every young woman from the night she is rescued to the day she will complete our aftercare program. 

Protect women and girls from sex trafficking and ensure restoration for survivors.

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