[USPG] Seventeen-year-old Daya was courted by a young man who then persuaded her to elope. But Daya’s dreams of a happy future ended when she realised she had been tricked into bonded labour, forced to work long hours at a biscuit factory, and was then abused in the evenings.
Thousands of children and young people in India, especially girls, are being trafficked every year. Typically, they are tricked into fake marriages or bonded labour, or else they are simply drugged and abducted.
Happily, Daya’s plight came to the attention of the Church of North India’s Anti-Human Trafficking Programme, supported by USPG, and she is now back home and safe with her family in North Dinajpur.
We need your support today to ensure this vital programme can continue to save lives. By the time you have finished reading this article, it is likely that another child in India will have been trafficked – another child who needs your help.
It is a crisis that goes largely under the radar because the victims mostly belong to India’s marginalised Schedule Caste (Dalits). These people have been called refugees in their own land due to having a lack of rights, including little access to education and job opportunities. In this context, it is little wonder that young people are vulnerable to the schemes of traffickers, who use them for slave labour and sexual exploitation.
The Church of North India, with support from USPG, is determined to help. The Anti-Human Trafficking Programme is raising awareness in schools and villages, and providing livelihood training so there is less need for people to travel in search of employment. The church sees the programme as a vital expression of its commitment to be the hands and feet of Christ in the communities it serves.