Human trafficking, a cross-border problem

 In Human trafficking, Mujer, Trata de personas, Women

A few years ago, at Mumbai Smiles, we understood that human trafficking knows no borders. After a long time working in Mumbai, collaborating in raids with the local police, we realized that many of the rescued girls were from neighboring countries such as Nepal or Bangladesh and that is why we extended our action to other areas, to prevent the problem of human trafficking from its origin.

The case that we want to tell today demonstrates the importance of good awareness-raising and prevention work on the ground, so that women and girls, like Nasima, do not fall into the networks of human trafficking.

Nasima, from Bangladesh to Mumbai alone and cheated

Nasima grew up in a small village in Bangladesh called Chakala Darpara, in a family of eight sons and daughters and was able to go to school until 3rd grade, where she always studied in the Bengali language. When Nasima was 12 years old, one of her brothers got married and she went to live with him and his new wife. However, Nasima was a victim of physical and mental abuse by her sister-in-law, who forced her to work at home and sent her away to do domestic work.

One day, her brother’s wife introduced Nasima to a friend of hers, who promised her a good job in Mumbai. The young woman, who was only 12 years old at the time, left home with the consent of her brother and arrived in Mumbai, where she stayed at the home of this woman, a friend of sister-in-law and her husband. Nasima didn’t know anyone else in the city and she didn’t speak Hindi. After a few days, her husband sold Nasima to a middleman in Kamathipura, the largest red-light district in all of Asia, for Rs. 50,000. The last words she heard were “Stay here and work.”

After this, Nasima tried to escape many times, but she was alone and helpless, and after a few days she was forced into prostitution. She was only 13 years old. Today she continues to be sexually exploited and has never returned to her town.

At Mumbai Smiles we were able to learn about her case because Nasima has a son who attends one of our preschool centers. Thanks to the workshops and talks we offer to the children’s mothers, we can get closer to these victims and help them get out of this spiral of exploitation and violence. It is important that we can detect these cases at the source and that is why, 3 years ago we expanded our actions to countries like Nepal and Bangladesh. In Nepal we are working in Nuwakot and Kathmandu and in Bangladesh in the Shatkira region.

Thanks to your support and collaboration we can continue promoting these prevention projects, so that other girls like Nasima do not fall into trafficking networks.

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