Our hotspot in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan is working to progressively eliminate child labour 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 their families. They suffer damage to vision, burns and chronic cough. Rescued children at a Jaipur shelter made a video describing their experiences.
This program is 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. By striving to plug gaps in the legal process against traffickers and shutting down workshops that employ children, the program is curbing human trafficking.
This hotspot is distinctive in its major focus on outreach and partnership with local businesses to incentivize them to lead as champions for a Child Labour Free Jaipur. By promoting the future growth of these businesses, mobilizing key Jaipur neighborhoods to move decisively against child labour and embarking on a large-scale awareness campaign in the city, the program aims to fundamentally change practices related to child labour in Jaipur.
The goal is to showcase a successful approach to reducing child labour that benefits business, tourism, the communities of Jaipur, and above all, tens of thousands of children, to serve as an important model to be replicated across India and globally.
The program is:
- Working with key business institutions associations and training providers in Jaipur so that pro-active businesses take a stand against child labour. This will include providing access to a child labour free certification – and providing better value product orders – to participating suppliers. It will also expand the stream of verified child labour free apparel and other handicrafts by forming women’s producer-owned companies in neighbourhoods affected by high levels of child exploitation. Once these systems are in place, we will promote sales of child friendly products, especially through tourist outlets, Jaipur bazaars and international retailers.
- Building awareness and resistance to child labour in Jaipur – The Freedom Fund’s local NGO partners are mobilizing the most vulnerable Jaipur neighbourhoods to build resistance to child labour. In addition to longer-term work on root causes within the communities, we are working with the city to promote a large scale marketing campaign, including public billboards around the city, street plays, presentations in local schools and a public art installation. These efforts will result in specific Jaipur neighbourhood communities and the residents of Jaipur at-large taking ownership of the issue and feeling encouraged to join the Child Labour Free Jaipur movement.
- Strengthening actions to protect children and help them recover – The Freedom Fund is collaborating with police and child welfare officials to increase rescues, improve shelter homes and increase children’s access to justice and compensation.
- Helping Rajasthan and Bihar collaborate for better reintegration including strengthening cooperation between the two state governments, and working with the Freedom Fund’s existing NGO partners in the main Bihar districts where children come from, to help families to prevent re-trafficking.
- Promoting the model – As the city progresses against child labour, we’ll disseminate the model to encourage adoption of this distinctive approach by agencies in other areas.