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India: Time to Put an End to Slavery as featured in Newsweek

November 26, 2014

I met a 15-year-old girl, a Dalit, or “untouchable,” in Varanasi, India, last month. Kidnapped by a member of her village, she had been raped and sold to a brothel in Mumbai hundreds of miles from her home.

When she was finally rescued, she and her family had the courage to go to the police to file a complaint against her trafficker. Her ordeal was ignored. The police had no interest in investigating the enslavement of a Dalit girl.

With the support of her family and help from one of the partner organizations in India of the Freedom Fund, the charity I work for, which is dedicated to ending modern slavery, the girl got a lawyer to file her complaint. Her reward was to become the target of a sustained campaign of harassment not just from the police but the leaders of her village, too, who were concerned about the damage a prosecution for slavery would do to their standing. The Dalit girl and her family were forced to go into hiding.

Read the full Newsweek op-ed.

Written by
Nick Grono