Kolkata: A teenage trafficking survivor in India has received Rs 9,00,000 in a rare payout that lawyers said was “unprecedented” in size under the country’s compensation schemes for victims.
The survivor was 13-year-old when she was trafficked from eastern Odisha state and sold to a brothel in Sonagachi, which is India’s largest red-light area in Kolkata, her lawyer said on Tuesday.
The victim was rescued in 2016 by anti-trafficking officials and shifted to a shelter where she has since been living and studying.
The girl, who is now 17, was last week awarded the compensation by a court in West Bengal, having previously testified against the three suspects in her case. One minor was convicted in 2017 for trafficking and two men are currently on trial, the lawyer said.
According to a study, less than 1 percent of trafficking survivors win compensation and the amount can vary from 1,00,000 to 1 million rupees as each state in India has its own scheme.
“This (compensation award) is unprecedented,” said lawyer Saptarshi Biswas, one of the counsels for the victim and head of legal solutions at the charity International Justice Mission.
“The survivor’s age, future prospects, and what she would need to rebuild her life were taken into account when the compensation amount was being decided,” Biswas added. “Her testimony in court was also crucial in this win.”