THE PROBLEM: AN OPEN BORDER BETWEEN INDIA AND NEPAL ENABLES TRAFFICKING
- Indian and Nepalese citizens may easily and legally cross from country to country without any travel documents.
- The informality of crossing the border between India and Nepal is an opportunity traffickers recognize and exploit.
- Over 15,000 girls are trafficked across the border into India’s thriving sex trade each year.
THE SOLUTION: BORDER MONITORING IN INDIA
After years of effective border monitoring in Nepal, Free for Life has transitioned to the need on the Indian side of the border. This is a groundbreaking achievement as there is only 1 other organization currently doing this type of work in India! This exciting development is due to the rapidly increasing need within the country; estimates are that there are more people enslaved in India than any other country in the world.
FFLI has an established border monitoring station in Panitanki, India along the unsecured or “open” border. This small village in West Bengal, India is known for its high rates of human trafficking. Here, FFLI works to identify and potentially intervene on behalf of a trafficked victim. This is done through educational materials and individuals trained to identify potential trafficking situations. Border monitoring staff members have earned the authority within the local community to stop and question whoever appears suspicious when crossing the border.
- If our staff determines that a trafficking situation is occurring, the first priority is always removing the victim from harm.
- The staff will then contact the local police to detain the suspected trafficker, and report all information to the appropriate authorities.