MSEMVS aims to empower vulnerable communities, with a strong focus on anti-trafficking and the eradication of child labour. In its work with the Freedom Fund, MSEMVS focus on a cluster of villages in Uttar Pradesh which have been severely affected by bonded labour and trafficking. Their goal is to ensure that all enslaved victims are freed, that slave holders are prosecuted and that communities are equipped to remain slave free.
This grant will continue a pilot project that started in 2011 to realise a ‘slave-free area’ in a cluster of villages known in India as a Nyay Panchayat. MSEMVS will continue to work in this cluster of 16 villages in Uttar Pradesh, which were severely affected by bonded labour and trafficking. These villages were identified by a detailed baseline by MSEMVS.
The goal is to ensure all enslaved members of the community are freed from slavery, that slave holders are prosecuted and that communities are equipped to remain slave-free. The project will focus on the following activities designed to realise the goals of rescue and sustainable freedom: rescue and rehabilitation; education for children and vocational training for older youth; self help group formation and income generating activity skills for self help group members and other community members; access to government services, including rural employment guarantee, infant and maternal health care and land rights.
Through two Freedom Fund granted programs, MSEMVS will work in 7 districts in Uttar Pradesh, supporting large numbers of Community Vigilance Committees (CVCs), including 120 new CVCs. Their goal is that these CVCs complete a process of full and sustainable eradication of all forms of trafficking and slavery in the targeted communities.
MSEMVS trains members of CVCs about how to identify slavery and trafficking and trigger rescue operations, how to track the migration of workers and prevent unsafe migration, and how to pursue their legal rights and government entitlements.
MSEMVS will continue to rescue hundreds of individuals from multiple forms of slavery by working with police and labour officials. They will ensure that traffickers and slaveholders are arrested, and MSEMVS’ trained network of lawyers will ensure progress of prosecutions.
MSEMVS will enable children who have been in forced labour to attend transitional, accelerated schools and will then enroll them in local schools. Youth (ages 16 and above) will be identified and will participate in vocational training. In addition, liberated victims of slavery and their family members will receive income generation assistance and CVCs will ensure that they access government entitlements. The sustained freedom of these individuals will be strengthened by enabling them to join CVCs and self-help groups.
MSEMVS will promote bank linkages for self-help groups so they can access loans on low interest.
MSEMVS will carry out trainings to promote more effective responses by a wide range of officials, as well as reaching out to anti-trafficking NGOs in other states to provide training and referral linkages.
The MSEMVS team will work to free those enslaved, prevent trafficking and slavery, protect vulnerable communities, and prosecute perpetrators of trafficking, exploitation and slavery in seven districts in the Uttar Pradesh state of India. These districts are Sonebhadra, Allahabad, Mirzapur,Varanasi, Bhadohi, Kaushambi and Jaunpur. Targeted communities (mainly comprised of survivors, vulnerable families, victim’s families, etc.) will demonstrate improvements in the socio-economic condition allowing them to resist slavery and ensure sustained liberation for survivors.
In its 2018-2019 project, MSEMVS will seek to reduce situations of bonded labour and human trafficking in Uttar Pradesh. It will strengthen existing Community Vigilance Committees, support self-help groups and provide livelihoods training and education support. Government linkages will be strengthened, with community members gaining an increased understanding of government services and entitlements, as well as the necessary skills to access benefits. Training workshops will be conducted for officials such as Labour Department Officials and the Police on the content of laws related to slavery and trafficking, and MSEMVS will facilitate participants to visit affected communities and engage with survivors. MSEMVS will also identify victims of slavery, collaborate with authorities to liberate victims and lead subsequent rehabilitation and reintegration activities. Village Child Protection Committees will coordinate with other key stakeholders to establish an increased level of protection for vulnerable children in at-risk communities.