The 95%: A Look At Exploitation In India
Across our international projects around the world, Not For Sale conducts baseline assessments of trafficking and victim rehabilitation. The purpose of these investigations is to capture the true scope of the issue of exploitation so that we may better understand the root causes of trafficking and work to end them.
Data complied in these assessments comes from a variety of sources, including partner NGOs, universities and our own Not For Sale international staff on the ground and are specifically conducted on targeted populations in areas of high vulnerability and incidence of trafficking. Most specifically, we look at trends that lead to victims being trafficking: from age to employment and most prevalent forms of trafficking to name but a few. This week we received the results of our first Not For Sale baseline assessment, conducted in India by our local team, illuminating some interesting trends in vulnerability and rehabilitation of victims in New Delhi.
The initial baseline assessment took data from partner NGOs to gain insight into the target population Not For Sale is aiming to assist. Of this population, all were women, of whom almost half were between the ages of 16-20, and over half were from backgrounds of no education. The most significant predictor in all cases of trafficking was poverty, indicating that women from the lowest income backgrounds are those most likely to struggle to find dignified employment. As a result, the majority of victims are coerced using the false promise of work, and promises to alleviate their desperate situations and 2/3 of all those exploited are trafficked into the sex trade.
Our study also looked at the rehabilitation patterns of these female victims; and the results were staggering. Our study found that only 5% of over 600 survivors reintegrated by other NGOs had continued into education, received training in life skills or gained employment. And perhaps most alarmingly, almost half again, were returned to their original, vulnerable environment.
This is the trend that Not For Sale India is hoping to end. In India, Not For Sale works to provide survivors of trafficking with specialised job training and sustainable employment via ethical manufacturing companies. Not For Sale then drives demand to these manufactures using our global network in business. By providing women with not only job training and employment, but transitional housing as well, we can protect women being re-trafficked. In 2011, Not For Sale partnered with for-profit ethical manufacturing company, Open Hand, as safe and sustainable place of work for the women we assist. These women also receive literacy and financial training and childcare facilities. It is our hope that we not only provide these women with sustainable futures, but that they are able to continue to earn a dignified income once they leave the program. The process is long, but with the help of Not For Sale and our partners, survivors can not only provide a future for themselves, but hopefully for their children as well. In India and across the globe, these baseline assessments will be continually revisited so that we may continue to make an impact and strive towards our mission: to end modern-day slavery in our lifetime.