Unsere Projekte

Freeing sold girls from brothels

Only a few of the girls who are sold into Indian brothels survive. Most die from infectious disease, drugs or extreme violence. MAITI has set up networks in several large cities in India - such as New Delhi and Mumbai - with the aim of freeing enslaved girls from brothels and bringing them back to Nepal. Members of our participating organizations often visit brothels as pretend clients, providing girls with much-needed cash as well as information about returning to Nepal via MAITI. They also distribute tiny cards with emergency telephone numbers and addresses.
The girls are often too scared to accept our help.  Normally this is because brothel owners have scared them into thinking not only that offers of help are fake, but that accepting such an offer will actually result in the loss of the only real opportunity they have of returning to Nepal.  This supposed "opportunity", of course, amounts to more sexual slavery in order to pay off putative debts owed to brothel owners.  And these bogus debts correspond to fees paid by sex traffickers to those who have sold girls into slavery in the first place, fees paid by brothel owners for clothes used in the brothel, fees charged by brothel owners for rooms in the brothel, fees charged to girls for board in a brothel, and so forth.  In a nutshell: these bogus debts are bogus indeed; and most brothel owners repeatedly say that those offering real aid and comfort, like pro filia, are really looking to put brothel workers in jail or to sell on to even worse brothels.  Needless to say any attempt to escape by a sex slave is brutally punished by force.  
As a result, members of our network often have to visit a given brothel several times in order to convince a girl that it is in her interest to accept our offer of help.  Sometimes suffering and desperation will drive a girl to make one last attempt, no matter what the risk, to find hope of a better life.  And there are regular raids by local police, in collaboration with MAITI-members, during which minors are freed.  But these efforts depend on girls giving evidence that they have been trafficked, and girls are often too scared to do that.  Indeed they often end up hiding from the police! Here too trust has to be built slowly, for instance with multiple prior visits to a brothel pretending to be a client.  
pro filia helps to fund the running costs for our network’s efforts in India, as well as travel of girls and their escorts to our shelter in Bhairahawa, and care received by them at the shelter.