39 jailed in India for human trafficking
Dhaka: An Indian court has sentenced 39 people to 10 years in prison each for buying and selling girls in Karnataka state.
Seven of the rescued victims were from Bangladesh and the rest were from Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Karnataka and Odisha.
The prosecution came after Ballari police raided several brothels in 2013, rescuing 43 women and 21 children, including a 13-year-old, and seizing evidence including cash and account ledgers.
A further 48 suspects in the case are being tried in three separate cases in Karnataka. Of an estimated 20 million commercial sex workers in India, 16 million women and girls are victims of sex trafficking, according to non-governmental organisations working in the country.
The US State Department said in its 2016 Trafficking in Persons report that investigations, prosecutions and convictions for human trafficking were low in India even though the government has stepped up its law enforcement efforts. Of the 2,075 human trafficking cases that were prosecuted in 2015, 824 ended in a conviction, according to India's national crime records bureau.