The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. The GSI 2018 reports an emerging trend in northeast India where organised trafficking syndicates operate along the open and unmanned international borders, duping or coercing young girls seeking employment outside their local area in to forced sexual exploitation. Many women and girls are lured with the promise of a good job but then forced in to sex work, with a 'conditioning' period involving violence, threats, debt bondage and rape.
Neelam was 12 years old when she was kidnapped and sold to a brothel.
I hung myself, but I still didn’t die. I was too young. I was only 12. He was my friend’s uncle. He put some drugs in my food and I fell unconscious and then he took me to Delhi and sold me to a brothel.
People ask us if we are here by choice. But from the beginning our owners beat and intimidate us. Warning that if we say it’s by force they will use the machine to cut us into pieces. So we have to say we are here willingly.
One of my friends was beaten to death in front of me. After they killed her, they threw away her body. She had a small child and still earned them money. They told me they sold her child to someone.
Narrative produced and copyrighted by Jyra Films