An Indian man named Adarsh Shrivastava was travelling by train earlier this month, when he saw something that made him uncomfortable.
On July 5, he spotted 26 young girls, aged between 10 and 14, appearing unusually nervous and restless. Shrivastava sensed that the group were in trouble.
Unsure of what to do, Shrivastava tweeted his concerns: “I am traveling in Avadh express (19040). in s5. in my coach their are 25 girls all are juvenile some of them are crying and all feeling unsecure [sic].”
He tagged railway authorities and officials, alerting them to the situation. Moments later he followed up the tweet by adding, “… subject to human trafficking… my current station is Hary Nagar my next station is BAGAHA and then Gorakhpur. Kindly help them out. Please help.”
Approximately an hour later, plainclothes police officers entered the train – confident of what they were investigating. They found the 26 girls accompanied by two men, both of whom were arrested.
The reason Shrivastava had been alarmed was simple. Although human trafficking is illegal in India, it remains a significant problem, with at least 20,000 women and children being trafficked in 2016.
People who are subject to human trafficking are exploited for sexual services, forced marriage or forced labour.