Free the Slaves has begun the work of educating field workers at high-impact international development organizations how to liberate entire communities from slavery.
This year, we have partnered with READ Nepal, a group that helps villagers improve their livelihoods, literacy, health and technology. More than 1,550 women and girls and 1,050 men and boys have been educated about their rights and risks through street theater, classroom presentations and youth group mobilizations. Front-line activists have discovered 29 trafficking cases, including 18 children, and a border checkpoint has been uncovered that is commonly used by traffickers.
In India, we have been helping the Salvation Army integrate anti-trafficking strategies into the organization’s other projects. For example, Salvation Army staffers work with self-help groups to improve access to affordable credit; they now recognize the need to promote basic rights and help women escape debt bondage. Similarly, staff members reported a new focus on people working in brick kilns, sand collection and sugar cane farms, which are occupations plagued by slavery. The children of women in prostitution have become a new focus for Salvation Army staff, as children raised in brothels often become trapped in sex or labor slavery at a young age.
These early interventions show the tremendous potential of our Community Liberation Initiative. Learn more here.