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Agents of India's 'Migration Express' Sell One-Way Ticket to Debt Bondage

Nijam Khan was on a recruiting spree. All through the autumn, he drove to villages around the town of Kantabanji in India's eastern Odisha state looking for labor. He zeroed in on poor families, jobless men and desperate couples. He gave them cash to buy food and clothes ahead of the local harvest festival. In return, they gave him their freedom. “There are no jobs here,” Khan said, sitting in the office of his self-styled transport company in Kantabanji, a railway town in the...

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