Aditi's Rescue

Eight years ago, when Aditi Begum of Bahadurpur, Jessore, Bangladesh, was 19 years old, she fell into the hands of sex traffickers. She thought she was getting a factory job in the capital city, Dhaka.

More than a million and a half Bangladeshis are thought to be living in modern-day slavery, and trafficking is especially common near the border where Aditi lives. Luckily, Aditi was rescued before being sent to a brothel in India, but the experience changed her forever.

After her rescue, Aditi spent time at a shelter run by a local partner of the Bangladesh Counter-Trafficking in Persons (BC/TIP) project, where she received counseling and training. Many survivors are shunned by their families. BC/TIP helps them regain confidence and purpose. Aditi found her purpose in the BC/TIP-affiliated survivors’ group ANIRBAN, which means “the flame that never dies.”

Aditi grew in confidence and skill. She went back to school, got an office job and now leads a 30-person ANIRBAN team. She speaks at schools and community meetings, explaining the basics of safe migration. “I was a victim,” she says. “It is my duty to help others.”

Aditi will complete college next year. Her life has come full circle. Others rescued her; now she rescues others — like the young woman lured by the promise of a beautician’s job. She was the same age Aditi was when she was trafficked. “When I think that she’s not going to suffer, that gives me hope for the future.”

ABOUT THIS STORY: USAID’s BC/TIP has given more than 800 trafficking survivors like Aditi a place to live and heal and start a new life. More than 4,100 migrants have learned about migrants’ rights and redress, and almost 4,000 at-risk people have been inoculated with the skills and information they need to avoid Aditi’s fate. More than 400 youth volunteers and survivor leaders have been trained to combat TIP, 59 social workers and healthcare workers have learned TIP-specific tools, and almost three and a half million Bangladeshis have been reached through a media campaign on TIP awareness.


Story: Anne Cassidy | Photos: Misty Keasler

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