Human Trafficking, Nimbus Blog, Projects, Social Change

Nimbus signs DFID contract for Asia Anti-Trafficking Programme

The pilot project called ‘Vivhaan’ which means ‘the dawn of a new day’ or ‘new beginning’ in Hindi, runs between November 2011 and May 2012. The consortium led by Nimbus and Stop The Traffik is trying to address two major issues, firstly, the provision of information to women and girls in impoverished communities, to raise awareness of human trafficking and empower them to make informed decisions about their future; secondly, to bring a greater level of co-ordination to stakeholders, across India and Bangladesh, engaged in fight human trafficking, by gathering information and intelligence of trafficking activities.

Nimbus are using innovative technology to improve the flow of information to women and girls at risk of trafficking in the domestic work and garment sectors. Whilst everyone in India now has access to a mobile phone, the most vulnerable will often be uneducated and illiterate, creating challenges in the dissemination of information. Therefore, a key distinctive of the Vivhaan business model is that it will be pro-active in using community engagement to encourage discussion around the issues concerning human trafficking. Community Partners, including Drishtee, Oasis International, Salvation Army and Save The children are being given an Android powered tablet to access the information detailed above plus videos stories of trafficked survivors; and are also able to report concerns or issues in their area. Additionally, they are being given training on how to share knowledge and facilitate discussions with their communities.

A central information hub is being developed incorporating a website advising on ethical employers, safe accommodation and approved recruitment agencies, to protect women from being trafficked if they choose to migrate for work. In addition, the website will advise on employment rights, risks pertaining to migration, as well as including a section for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). This information will be accessible through a variety of media to ensure access for all. In addition to the website and tablet application, women will be able to access information via their mobile phones using a voice and SMS helpline, ensuring support for women with low literacy or no access to technology.

Women and girls are often vulnerable to offers of work in towns and cities due to the marginal incomes and poor living conditions they experience. The Consortium partners in the field, will therefore, work with Community Based Organisations (CBOs) to encourage micro-enterprise and life-skills training in an effort to address the drivers of trafficking e.g. social exclusion, poverty, vulnerability and gender inequality.

We see improvements in the flow of information as being holistic i.e. not just providing information to people in poor communities but also gathering it from them. There are hundreds of Organisations working to fight human trafficking at different stages of the lifecycle but their work is often issue based and confined to small geographical areas. They have information which may be valuable in saving the life of a girl that has been trafficked to another district but, they currently have no means of sharing this. We will share best practise Human trafficking initiatives with CBOs, plus provide training and support to enable them to collect and report local insights. Additionally we will make innovative use of mobile technology to facilitate the anonymous reporting of suspected trafficking, bogus job offers, and unsafe migration routes to the central hub. We will then work with our Partner International Justice Mission (IJM) to inform police and local judiciary and instigate suspected trafficking operations, whilst also training police officers about trafficking in the domestic work and garment sectors. This ensures the implementation of effective safeguards against trafficking and criminal exploitation.

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