Indian teenage sex trafficking survivor sold to a brothel in Sonagachi wins ‘unprecedented’ compensation

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A teenage trafficking survivor in India has gained Rs 9 lakh ($12,165) in a uncommon payout that attorneys stated was “unprecedented” in dimension beneath the nation’s compensation schemes for victims. The survivor was 13 when she was trafficked from jap Odisha state and offered to a brothel in Sonagachi, India’s largest red-light district within the metropolis of Kolkata, her lawyer stated.

She was rescued by anti-trafficking officers in 2016 and brought to a shelter the place she has since been residing and learning. The lady, now 17, was final week awarded the compensation by a courtroom in West Bengal, having beforehand testified in opposition to the three suspects in her case. One minor was convicted in 2017 for trafficking and two males are presently on trial, the lawyer stated.

Lower than 1% of trafficking survivors win compensation, a research present in January, and the quantity can fluctuate from 100,000 to 1 million rupees as every state in India has its personal scheme.

“This (compensation award) is unprecedented,” stated lawyer Saptarshi Biswas, one of many counsels for the sufferer and head of authorized options on the charity Worldwide Justice Mission.

A number of different anti-trafficking advocates stated they believed the compensation sum was one of many greatest of its sort to-date.

“The survivor’s age, future prospects and what she would want to rebuild her life have been taken under consideration when the compensation quantity was being determined,” Biswas added. “Her testimony in courtroom was additionally essential on this win.”

Low consciousness of the compensation schemes and the calls for on a sufferer – from swift reporting of the crime to cooperating with police and testifying in courtroom – imply that almost all trafficking survivors in India miss out on redress, advocates have stated.

Kaushik Gupta, a lawyer with the anti-trafficking collective Tafteesh, welcomed the ruling and stated the dimensions of the compensation award might act as a precedent in future instances.

“Nonetheless, solely victims who’ve the help of NGOs are in a position to apply for compensation as a result of most victims don’t know how you can undergo the whole authorized course of,” Gupta added.

About 2,260 instances of human trafficking have been reported in India final yr, with 9 in 10 associated to sexual exploitation, These instances concerned 6,616 victims, of whom 44% have been youngsters.

Basabi Rozari, director of the Kolkata shelter the place the survivor lives, stated the lady needed to make use of the compensation cash to construct her personal home and pursue increased schooling.

“She has misplaced contact together with her household and needs to be unbiased sooner or later,” Rozari advised the Thomson Reuters Basis.

“I’m pleased for her however am additionally conscious that there are numerous who look forward to years to get even smaller quantities awarded to them. It’s irritating when their hopes are raised and the cash doesn’t come by way of shortly. I hope this time it’s totally different.”

(This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content. Solely the headline has been modified.)

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