Police raided flats in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh and rescued 24 girls who had been forced into the sex trade, police said Monday.
The girls were taken from an illegal shelter home on Sunday after one of the victims escaped, reached a women’s police station and told the story to police officers.
Coverage of the child sex trade on Globalnews.ca:
A superintendent with Uttar Pradesh Police‘s Deoria district, Rohan P Kanay, said that according to the girl, vehicles would come to pick up teenage girls, who would return the following morning in tears.
Officials said that about 10 to 15 were still missing.
The government had revoked the shelter’s license for Mohan and Girija Tripathi, a husband and wife duo who operated the shelter in Deoria city, back in 2017, but the couple continued to run it illegally, police said.
The governmental National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) estimates that there are about 7,300 care homes in India, which are home to some 230,000 children.
About 1,300 of these shelters are unregistered, it says, which means they operate illegally with little or no oversight.