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August 7, 2015
By: Charmaine Santos
Edited by: Juliana Zhu, Esq.
Police in India arrested two airline staff and two suspected traffickers at Delhi’s main airport for having sent hundreds of young women from earthquake-hit areas of Nepal to do manual labor or sex work in the Gulf. Police took a total of 21 women into their care: 7 from the airport, who were getting ready to get onto a flight to Dubai, and 14 from a hotel nearby. According to Mohammed Ishfaq Haider, deputy police commissioner at the Indira Gandhi airport, the women came from very poor economic backgrounds and were from districts that were hit hard by the earthquake in April. They were promised jobs in the Gulf that could offer them substantial salaries.
The incarcerated men confessed that over the last three months, they arranged for more than 250 young women to travel from Nepal to Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Haider claimed they described that the women were approached in villages in remote districts and offered jobs before they rode on buses to Delhi, and booked onto international flights to the Gulf.
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Airline employees at Delhi airport were paid off to help the women get through immigration as international travellers. Once they would arrive to Dubai, the traffickers would then confiscate their passports and hand them over to their contacts in the United Arab Emirates. Campaigners in Kathmandu said that it is difficult to identify traffickers since most of these criminal networks are based in India. Traffickers look for women across Nepal, particularly targeting impoverished rural areas.
Charmaine Santos is a junior at the University of San Francisco pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Biology as well as minors in Chemistry and Health Studies. She volunteers alongside UCSF medical students at a student-run homeless clinic in San Francisco and is also an active volunteer with Operation Access. Charmaine is also a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.
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