ANTI-TRAFFICIKING MEASURES TAKEN BY THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC WORKERS’ MOVEMENT
Trafficking of children, girls and women for forced labour
Trafficking is closely linked to forced migration. It has been most often linked to prostitution but trafficking takes considerable magnitude for forced labour, especially domestic work. Trafficking of children-girls-women for domestic work is one of the fastest growing areas in inter-country and intra-country trafficking. Children, girls and women are predominantly trafficked from rural, tribal areas or drought and cyclone ridden areas into cities of India. Many of them are even trafficked to foreign countries.
There are numerous cases of abuse and exploitation of trafficked girls and women. National Domestic Workers’ Movement has discovered that most of the women, children and their families do not realise what they are getting themselves into. The problem gains more magnitude because our existing legislations are not able to deal with the issues. The Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act, 1956 talks only of trafficking for immoral purposes and not for forced or bonded labour. Similarly the Inter-state Migrant Workmen’s Act, 1979 do not protect the migrant or trafficked domestic workers. Further, the children, girls and women are sometimes brought to the cities secretly and are sometimes inaccessible. In foreign countries many domestic workers are undocumented or illegal immigrants.
Trafficking agents are plenty. In Delhi alone there over and above hundreds of agencies which sell domestic workers. NDWM has also discovered that sometimes other domestic workers and close relatives become agents of trafficking. This points to the well-organized nature of the entire racket. Once the girls arrive in the cities, their wages are typically locked or they go unpaid in order to pay the traffickers a fee for securing employment.
Prevention of Trafficking
In order to prevent trafficking, NDWM has carried out work at both the source and destination areas.
- Trace trafficking agents in order to reveal them and protect the target group from the clutches of exploitation
- Facilitate the formation of village level vigilant committees to prevent trafficking
- Facilitate the formation of SHGs (Self Help Groups), income and livelihood generation programmes economic independence, in order, to help curb trafficking.
- Capacity building of SHGs and support groups.
- Life Skills/vocational training and non-formal education to children who have dropped out of school.
- Participation of village Panchayat and local governments to bring about resolutions toward anti-trafficking.
- Work with villagers to prevent uninformed migration and trafficking of women, girls and children
- Conduct pre-departure programmes to prepare inter and intra country migrant domestic workers of situations of work and how to handle the same.
- To network with other non-government organisations, government organisations, policy makers and police to facilitate rescue, rehabilitation and repatriation.
- Psychosocial support to women and children (vulnerable to trafficking/ and those who have been rescued victims)
In order to curb international migration, we have taken similar steps:
- Pre-departure manuals have been disseminated to increase awareness of the risks and challenges of migration.
- The plight of migrant domestic workers abroad have been documented.
- Active advocacy and lobbying is carried out.
- Crisis interventions are carried out to victimised individuals.
- Networks are established with other NGOs that work on international migration.