shield arrow-simple-alt-top arrow-simple-alt-left arrow-simple-alt-right arrow-simple-alt-bottom facebook instagram linkedin medium pinterest rss search-alt shaper twitter video-play arrow-long-right arrow-long-left arrow-long-top arrow-long-bottom arrow-simple-right arrow-simple-left arrow-simple-bottom readio arrow-simple-top speaker-down plus minus cloud hb pin camera globe cart rotate Group-35 star edit arrow-top arrow-right arrow-left arrow-bottom check search close square speaker-up speaker-mute return play pause love

The story of violence begins with the slave owner, abuser, trafficker... but it could end with YOU!

Become a Freedom Partner Today

Forty-Four Children and 32 Adults Freed from Slavery at Jewelry Factories

This month, local officials freed 76 victims of human trafficking—including boys as young as 10—from a group of jewelry factories profiting off forced labour for years.

The case arose when a local lawyer got an anonymous tip about dozens of boys being exploited in these factories, which he then referred to IJM’s team in Chennai. We worked with the local government to identify the target locations and conduct a rescue operation at five separate factories on September 6 and follow-up rescues at two factories on September 11.

All of these 76 boys and young men were trafficked from West Bengal, a state 1,000 miles away in northern India. They had been made to work at the factories for 14 hours a day—from 10:00 a.m. to midnight—inside locked upstairs rooms of a dingy building. They slept in one large room on thin straw mats, while factory owners monitored them constantly through CCTV cameras so they could never run away.

Each day, the boys had to make hundreds of pieces of gold jewelry—often handling harsh chemicals and breathing fine metal dust without protection. Some had been at the factories for ten years. Even on the day of rescue, they were working furiously at their stations without stopping. Many of their hands were stained, scarred and burned from this painful work.

“Most of the boys rescued are very young. When they were rescued and brought to our vehicle, they started playing—and that is how they should be,” shared one IJM staff member during the first wave of operations. “They should be allowed to enjoy and live their childhood and not made to work in hazardous conditions. They should be going to school.”

He added, “These children have been rescued from just five units. There are so many children still caught up in places they shouldn't be.”

Police have already arrested four factory owners who enslaved these boys and young men, and the suspects’ bail requests have been repeatedly denied.

Meanwhile, IJM and government officials helped the rescued boys return to West Bengal on September 13 to reunite with their families and begin recovering. When the boys heard the news they’d be going home, they danced, excitedly packed their belongings, and hugged IJM’s staff with joy.

Next, IJM’s team in Kolkata will help find livelihood options for these survivors and their families, so they will be less vulnerable to trafficking in the future.

Become a Freedom Partner Today

You might also be interested in…

see more

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay connected to the work! Sign up to get updates straight to your inbox.
You Can Send Rescue Today.

Give a gift today and be a last minute responder for a child in need of rescue or a social worker holding the hands of a now-free mother.

You can make the most impact as a Freedom Partner today.

Your generous monthly support of $31 or more will send rescue to vulnerable children and families at a moment’s notice, stand with them as they rebuild their lives in freedom and see their abusers in court – no matter how long justice takes.

Login

Donor Portal

Review your giving, tax statements and contact info via the IJM Donor Portal.

please sign in
Email Sign Up
Get updates from IJM on stories from the field, events in your area and opportunities to get involved.
sign up

Media Contact

We're here to answer your questions. Please fill out the form below and someone from our team will follow up with you soon.

Media Contact

More Information

Petra Kooman
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
[email protected]
519.679.5030 x.229

Make an Impact

Your skills, talents, and ideas are a force for change. From birthday parties to polar dips, your fundraising campaign can stop the violence.

Learn More

Thank you for signing up to learn more about starting a fundraiser. We will be in touch soon!

In the meantime, please take a look at our free guide: 25 Tips for the Novice Fundraiser.

Need Help?

Need more information?
We're here to help.
Contact us at [email protected]