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Trafficking is not new to the northeast of India. The twist,however,is that operators have become more sophisticated. They now masquerade as evangelists and missionaries and enticing the poor parents with promises of upkeep and education, spirit their children away.

Brothel workers in Kolkata

It is as if they have given up hope of ever seeing their girls again. They are an Adivasi family from a remote village in Assam state in India, nestled in the Himalayan foothills. Three of their four daughters have been missing for the last five years.

Impoverished women in India are increasingly falling victim to unscrupulous agents who force them into harsh domestic labour or sex work in the Middle East. | Photo: Manish Swarup/AP

In India, unscrupulous agents promise women well-paid work abroad, but in reality the victims end up sold as sex workers.


Jan 2013: Asian Human Rights Commission - 'A girl belonging to Scheduled Caste ['lower caste'] community of Kakching was kidnapped, drugged and raped...


On the evening of Dec. 26, as an Indian government-chartered jet was heading to Singapore with a critically injured New Delhi gang rape victim on board, the teenage survivor of another gang rape was taking her own life.


The fate of housekeepers in India has mostly played out behind closed doors. Human rights groups, however, have now turned their attention to the abuse these modern-day slaves endure.

Rukhsana (right) talks to police about her kidnapping

A year ago, Rukhsana was a 13-year-old living with her parents and two younger siblings in a village near India's border with Bangladesh. Her childhood ended when one day, on the way home from school, three men pushed her into a car.


The public beheading of a woman by her brother in Kolkata highlights a surge in so-called 'honour killings'.


It is encouraging to see young men on the street against the recent gang-rape. After all, they would also have to play an important role to achieve a gender-just society. Can we call it a much-needed start? Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty talks to some observers

Sandhya Jadon, 26, a lawyer from the northern town of Agra, speaks to AP in New Delhi, India

It is almost every Indian woman's nightmare, lived daily when in public — a stream of obscene comments, unwanted hands being placed on them and then being blamed for causing the sexual violence. Three women tell their stories.


Dec 2012: 'The overall culture of impunity enjoyed by the police across the country lets the authorities order the police to use brute force. People and police officers get injured in these events...'

One of the four jetties in Mousuni where, depending on the weather conditions, one boat an hour arrives to take people to the mainland in the Indian Sunderbans. | Photo: ALERTNET/Aditya Ghosh

Families living on India’s Sundarbans islands, are seeking husbands from the mainland for their daughters as they see no future for them at home as climate change and a lack of local development make it harder to survive.