No Way Out

Human trafficking involves recruitment, harbouring or transporting people into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception or coercion and being forced to work against their will. It is a process of enslaving people, coercing them into a situation with no way out, and exploiting them.

By Quratulain Thalho | May 2020

One fine night, after returning from a party, Amba Shah – a 17-year-old, high school student – was attacked with acid by a boy who had been rejected by her. After surviving the acid attack, she was kidnapped and drugged to be trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. In parallel, Sara – who had just celebrated her 18th birthday – accepted a job offer to travel abroad to become a waitress. But, instead, she was also sold to sex traffickers. Amba and Sara both eventually ended up together in the same bawdy house.

Providentially, this is a story of two fictional characters from the film ‘Trafficked.’ But, unfortunately, there are hundreds of real girls of virtually all ages who are being trafficked every single day, all around the world. Sara and Amba’s stories, certainly, highlight the brutal realities of human trafficking in an underworld that has ruined the lives of thousands of innocents.

Human trafficking has become an industry so widespread and lucrative that it knows no borders. With girls and women comprising 71 percent of all victims, this criminal business accounts for $150 billion every year worldwide. However, Nepal has been known to be one of the most remunerative markets; the 1,758-kilometre border between India and Nepal is one of the busiest human trafficking gateways in the world. Every day, around 100,000 individuals cross the border; some on bikes and trucks, while others on foot or rickshaws. In the middle of the chaos – the honking of horns, the noise of vehicles, the dust, and the crowd – are the potential victims and their exploiters.

According to India Today, “around 50 women from Nepal are trafficked to India every day, with Delhi being the hub where they are kept captive.” The numbers of Nepalese being trafficked across the border and vanishing for good have risen greatly after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. The earthquake killed almost 9,000 people, leaving the social and economic structures of the country disrupted. Hence, the unfortunate Nepalese victims are forced into the human trafficking world in various ways. Some are whisked away from their acquaintances as well as relatives and sold to sex traffickers in India. Others are tricked into getting a job as domestic workers in India or Gulf countries; while several others are dodged into another kind of human trafficking in India: “illicit organ harvesting.”

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The writer is a sociologist with a passion for fiction writing. She covers human rights and mental health issues and can be reached at

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One thought on “No Way Out

  • May 6, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Such a disturbing topic but Thank you Quratulain Thalho for writing on such a topic and speaking on behalf of the girls who can’t say a word.