PUNJAB - For years, the focus has been on men from Punjab who get trafficked to Europe, which is also colloquially known as Kabootar Baazi. This investigation by Journalismfund.eu's grantees reveal how Punjabi women are increasingly being trafficked by travel agents from India, but due to the social stigma, the state doesn’t have enough information about this growing menace.

In this first part of the investigation, the team documented Punjabi female survivors of trafficking who were promised better opportunities in Europe along with a safe legal passage. However, upon reaching Europe, most of them found their passports being confiscated on some pretext like safekeeping, and were later blackmailed and even faced sexual exploitation. 

© Nicola Gobbi

Team members

Pari Saikia

Pari Saikia is an independent human rights journalist from New Delhi, India.

Pari Saikia

Cecilia Ferrara

Cecilia Ferrara is a journalist based in Rome, former member and founder of the Investigative Reporting Project Italy and contributor of Radio Bullets.

Cecilia Ferrara

Sona Singh

Sona Singh is a PhD researcher and an independent journalist based in New Delhi. 

Nicola Gobbi

Nicola Gobbi is an Italian comic book author and illustrator.

Nicola Gobbi

Marco Omizzolo

Marco Omizzolo is a researcher, journalist, and activist based in Rome.

Marco Omizzolo

Ananthan Suresh

Ananthan Suresh is a heritage practitioner and illustrator working at the Kochi Biennale Foundation.


Irene Caselli

Irene Caselli is the founder of The First 1,000 Days, a fully reader-supported newsletter that covers early childhood.

Irene Caselli
€16.990 allocated on 16/04/2021



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