In 2018, the Freedom Fund is launching a new hotspot to progressively eliminate child labour in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, through a united strategy involving apparel and handicraft businesses, the state government, enforcement systems and communities.
Jaipur is a world-leading centre for production of traditional handicrafts, jewellery and unique textiles. But some of these products are manufactured by children working in hazardous and illegal conditions. In the workshops, children are often forced to work excessive hours in confined spaces, and are out of contact with families. They suffer damage to vision, burns, and chronic cough. Rescued children at a Jaipur shelter made a video, seen here.
Our program is intended to change the incentives for business, enabling the city to move decisively against child labour, while promoting the future growth of its businesses, and multiplying child-friendly tourism. It can be a win-win for the children and for the future of Jaipur.
The program is also distinctive in promoting cooperation between Rajasthan and the state of Bihar to remove children from exploitation in workshops, pursue justice against traffickers, and give comprehensive reintegration support to the children in their home state. Approximately 80% of trafficked children rescued in Jaipur are found to come from Bihar.
The goal is that a successful approach, benefiting business, tourism and above all tens of thousands of children, will serve as an important model across India and globally.
The program will:
The program is possible through a grant from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and the British Asian Trust will also bring its financial support, networks and leadership to bear on the child labour free business component of the hotspot. A funders’ collaborative for the hotspot is likely to include at least one additional key funder for the program and two other foundations whose funding aligns with the program goals.