shield arrow-simple-alt-top arrow-simple-alt-left arrow-simple-alt-right arrow-simple-alt-bottom facebook instagram linkedin medium pinterest rss search-alt shaper twitter video-play arrow-long-right arrow-long-left arrow-long-top arrow-long-bottom arrow-simple-right arrow-simple-left arrow-simple-bottom readio arrow-simple-top speaker-down plus minus cloud hb pin camera globe cart rotate Group-35 star edit arrow-top arrow-right arrow-left arrow-bottom check search Close square speaker-up speaker-mute return play pause love new-tab equalizer

IJM and Police Rescue Girls from Trafficking Aboard Moving Train

MUMBAI, INDIA – Four girls as young as 10 were rescued last week from a moving train headed hundreds of miles away from their home to Mumbai.

Police and IJM staff flooded busy train platforms to rescue the girls. They worked together in close collaboration with other NGOs and government operations to pull off the rescue operation.

A train passenger who happened to be an NGO employee had called in a tip to the government social service agency—several girls were seen traveling with a couple that seemed overly watchful and suspicious. The agency called IJM, which immediately mobilized two teams.

IJM staff rushed to the main train station in Kolkata to check train schedules and reservations, while another group of IJM staff in Mumbai worked with local police to catch the couple and rescue the girls. Staff and police quickly mapped out possible interception points and split up to wait on various train platforms.

Timing was critical. The train would only stop for a few minutes, and then they had to find the car with the girls. It was just after 8:00PM when the rescue team boarded the train, wading through the crowded cars while trying not to raise suspicion.

They spotted the girls! One of the IJM social workers caught a glimpse of the girls who matched the description that had been relayed earlier that day. They were traveling with a man and woman who seemed to be watching the girls’ every move, even accompanying them to the bathroom.

Two IJM staff struck up a conversation with the couple, surreptitiously typing information into their cell phones.By the time the train came to its next stop—about an hour and a half later—police were waiting on the platform. The suspects had become hostile, and police intervened and made the arrests.

The girls started to weep. They were terrified and did not understand what was happening. IJM social worker Lila stayed close, assuring them that they were safe

'It is surreal and incredible to see young girls rescued even before they can be exploited,' Lila reflects later on.

The girls are now at a shelter for trafficking survivors, and IJM will continue to work with the government authorities to make sure they receive the care they need. Most of the girls were able to make contact with their families over the weekend.

IJM Mumbai Director Sanjay Macwan says, 'The success of this rescue operation is evidence that regardless of how covert and complex the trafficking network may be, relentless, skillful and determined law enforcement agencies can rescue children--even from a moving train.'

You might also be interested in…

About Stories see more
Twenty Years Enslaved at a Mango Farm – Now Free

Survivor Leaders in the Released Bonded Labourers Association (RBLA) rallied authorities to rescue a couple who had been enslaved at a mango farm for about 20 years. IJM had known about this couple since 2016, but they were always too scared to ever share the truth about their experience, due to the power of the owner.
Joint operation rescues 4 minors, arrests 2 suspects of online sexual exploitation of children

An Aussie police tip-off has led Philippine authorities to rescue 4 young children from cybersex trafficking and arrest their guardians. The 3 girls and 1 boy were aged between 2 and 8. Tragically, they were in the care of a couple who instead of protecting them, offered to livestream their sexual abuse in exchange for money.⠀

Social Media Helps IJM Partner NGO Rescue of 56 from a Brick Kiln

IJM and our casework partner Jai Bhim Vikas Shikshan Sansthan (JBVSS) supported a complicated rescue operation in the state of Haryana. Fifty-six people—including many young children and babies—were brought out of bondage at a brick kiln, aided by the use of social media during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Three Children Free from Child Trafficking in Ghana

During May's lockdown, police and IJM conducted an operation to bring three children, two boys and one girl, to safety from slavery on Lake Volta.

You Can Help Send Rescue Today.

When you give a gift today, you’ll be fighting slavery, violence, and injustice across the globe. Together, we can end slavery and violence in our lifetime.

You can make the most impact as a Freedom Partner today.

Your generous monthly support will help send rescue to vulnerable children and families at a moment’s notice, stand with them as they rebuild their lives in freedom and have perpetrators held accountable.


Donor Portal

Review your giving, tax statements and contact info via the IJM Donor Portal.

please sign in
Email Sign Up
Get updates from IJM on stories from the field, events in your area and opportunities to get involved.
sign up