Have you ever wondered how girls are rescued from sex slavery? Indian Rescue Mission, partners of Children’s HopeChest, is an organization that conducts undercover investigations and rescue operations to free girls from sex slavery. Tom Davis, CEO of Children’s HopeChest, has kindly allowed me to share a recent post from his blog, Red Letters, that gives an inside look into how this is accomplished . . .
Monday November 1, 2010
After the news of the successful rescue last week, I wanted our partners in India to give you a much more detailed look as to what goes into a rescue operation. First, thank you again for your support of this operation. Without you, this would not be possible. I trust this information will help you engage–not just observe–the issue of sex slavery and trafficking.
Through our actions we have CHANGED THE STORY for these four girls. This Christmas, we are inviting people to get involved and change the story for even more girls trapped in the sex trade, and children everywhere suffering from extreme poverty. The people who donated to help rescue these girls have changed their story forever. You can too.
I’ll be sending more information about how you can join this campaign to personally raise funds from your family and friends this Christmas. Consider how you might give some of your Christmas to change the life of a child forever. A child like one of these four girls who were just rescued . . .
Below are my questions, and the answers from the director of the Indian Rescue Mission.
How do you find the brothels?
Indian Rescue Mission undercover operatives act as customers and get inside brothels or private where girls are forced into prostitution and then search for or ask for minor girls and if they are found they use their undercover camera to capture them and then document it. Then the document is viewed and then an Investigator who is above the Operative will verify the girl’s age and based on his feedback the team will decide whether to conduct a rescue operation or not.
How do you conduct the investigation?
The operative try to engage the girl once at the brothel prior to the raid and then try to collect as much information as he can and then stuffy her background. He will question her of her family, background, her life in the brothel, and other information. Then as she finds customers who are more interested in her personal life than sex, she tries to become friendly and then shares much information out. Also the local informants will share some information about the girl.
Once you have the evidence of trafficking, who do you take it to?
Once we have the proof, we try to go and meet the top Police officer, commissioner or the Superintendent and then pass on the information we gathered and then request them to take action. We are just an organisation and we can just say that we are assisting them in the rescue operation. We try to give our manpower like decoy customers or local Panchas (these are the ones that needs to be on the raid and then testify in the court). Also we provide witnesses for the case and also become complainants.
What factors threaten a rescue?
There are lot of risk factors when conducting a rescue operation. They are attacks on the team by the local goons; our faces are revealed and other. Police are often bribed by these pimps, brothel keepers and also hotel owners.
How does the actual rescue take place?
Once the Police are ready for a raid, we sent decoy customers to the targeted location or brothel and then pay money ( the numbers of these currency notes are noted down and are given to Police before we leave for the raid) to the Brothel keeper or manager of the hotel for the girls and engage minor girls which are our targets and then take them to the sex room ( this is just to prove that these girls were offered to us for sex). Once everything is done by the Decoy customers they will give us a signal or a call on our cell phone that they are ready and then the raiding team ( Includes a Police Inspector, the team from the organisation, Local Panchas : one male and one female, 2-3 lady constables, 2-3 male constables) reaches the said location and then search for our decoy customers in the sex rooms, and once they are found with the girl, the girls are rescued and the brothel keeper will be arrested.
Once the girls are freed, where do they go?
Once the girls are rescued, they will be send to the Government protective homes and they will be kept there for 4 months and in the mean time if the rescued organisation has a home and then sends a request letter to transfer the girls to their After Care home, then the permission will be granted and then they will be sent. But if they do not have they will be placed in the Government home and the home study of these girls are made by the probation officer and if they don’t find any problems from the victims parents, then they will be sent back to their homes.
How long do they stay there?
For 4 months.
How are they re-integrated into society?
One of the most important factors that all organisations need to think before they conduct any rescue is that whether they have a AFTER CARE HOME. In the government homes, there will be no proper care and protection. We have cases where Government officers have tried to sexually harass the rescued girls. So sorry to say this, but it’s the fact. So we need a Rescue Home where we can bring these girls here for a proper rehabilitation. In the rehabilitation homes, they will be provided education, self employment training, medical treatment and also teach word of the Lord for them.
HopeChest has also provided funds for a Christian social worker to visit these four girls in the government aftercare facility and to begin working with them on their recovery and reintegration.
The video below is from our partner in India. The four girls seated in the police station are the four young women who were rescued. You will also see a man in white dress. He is one of the pimps who was arrested in this raid. James conducts an interview about the rescue and the work of the Indian Rescue Mission. And you will also see an exterior shot of the hotel where the girls were rescued.
Please read before watching the video. As a father and ministry leader, it is important to me to always safeguard the dignity of the children we serve. Watch this video as a way to engage the issue of trafficking even further. As you see the partial faces of the victims and the perpetrators, please continue to pray and to act. I have chosen to show this video here so that even more girls would find rescue and restoration from trafficking.
Please be sure to visit Tom’s blog, Red Letters, to learn more.