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Respond > Solve > Evolve
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Respond > Solve > Evolve –
A Landscape and Solutions Study for a Stronger Anti-Human Trafficking Ecosystem in India

Background

Human Trafficking (HT) manifests itself in various forms such as forced labour, bonded labour, sex trafficking, child trafficking, involuntary servitude and debt bondage. With over 8 million people (6.1% of the population) experiencing modern slavery, India ranks 53rd amongst 167 countries analysed by the Global Slavery Index (2018). The highest incidences of HT as data suggests are concentrated among the marginalised and vulnerable communities.

In response to the growing concern of HT, organisations have increasingly begun to accelerate their efforts on combating HT across the spectrum of Prevention, Rescue, Prosecution, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Research and Advocacy (2P4R) along with the community groups and Government Institutions. Research findings have suggested that these interventions are carried out in isolation highlighting the need to create an enabling environment for solution providers to collaborate, scale and sustain their efforts towards elimination of HT.

Research Methodology and Approach

Between 2019-2020, Sattva Consulting undertook a study in collaboration with Reflexive Lenses on eliminating HT and supporting AHT solution landscape, funded by Kamonohashi Project.

The study identified the various forms of HT in India, ecosystem trends and the existing solution models adopted by various organisations mapped to their core expertise, engagement with rights-holders and communities, and their propensity for systems thinking. Additionally, the study also covered insights from COVID perspective to understand the impact of the pandemic on vulnerability to human trafficking.

The scope of the study included in-depth interviews with leaders of 59 Anti-Human Trafficking (AHT) organisations, 120 institutional stakeholders and 52 HT survivor groups across 16 states to deliver a one-of-kind report on the anti-human trafficking ecosystem in India.

Key Findings:

– 90% of the surveyed organisations reported focusing on prevention, research and advocacy interventions, while only 22% of the organisations were found working in the area of prosecution
– 42% organisations reported building, strengthening, actively addressing gaps in AHT systems in comparison to 96% of the surveyed organisations who reported focussing on service delivery to survivors
– 100% of the surveyed organisations in rescue reported cases of re-trafficking and 8% of them have ceased rescue activities due to increasing frustration
– Only 54% organisations surveyed reported working with prosecution, establishing & strengthening legal and judiciary systems, which reflected the lack of collaboration between NGOs
– Only 15% of responding organisations were found at the intersection of mature AHT school of thought, survivor leadership interventions and with a focus on system strengthening approach.

The executive summary and the full report can be accessed below.

Event: Report Launch and Panel Discussion
Sattva Research unveiled ‘Respond > Solve > Evolve: A Landscape and Solutions Study for a Stronger Anti-Human Trafficking Ecosystem in India‘, on 5th February, 2021.

The event aimed to delve deeper into the insights and recommendations of the report and build a much-needed dialogue around efficiencies and inefficiencies of AHT interventions in the country. The event participants included over 130+ representatives of AHT NGOs, funding entities, journalists, among others. The event also hosted a panel discussion on ‘Lessons Learned; What Has Worked, And What Did Not Work And Why‘. The eminent panel comprised of MA. Britto of Vaan Muhil, Pooja Rajiv of Srijan Foundation, Michelle Mendonca of Freedom Fund, Rahima Khan, Mehrunnissa and Sunita- survivor leaders from Indian Leadership Forum Against Trafficking (ILFAT).


“We hope the study will be helpful to the Indian government and people, and funders working in India in making decisions on focus and collaboration,” said Tomomi Shimizu, the India Programme Director in Kamonohashi.

Rahima Khan, a leader from ILFAT, a national federation of survivors of human trafficking said “We leaders at ILFAT have been advocating for a comprehensive and survivor-centric anti-human trafficking legislation. We want the AHT ecosystem in the country to be strengthened and there is a well organised and collective effort to eliminate all forms of trafficking. The research has provided us a lot of insights for all of us, and we hope all stakeholders take concerted efforts to help strengthen the system so that we can defeat trafficking collectively.”

“Through our work in bonded labour and in tackling human trafficking, we see the commitment to realise solutions on the ground, but we also see fragmentation in the ecosystem. Through this research we have discovered so many different pathways, avenues and opportunities where we can actually get the ecosystem together and try to address the issue,” says Aarti Mohan, co-founder and partner at Sattva Consulting. “

“As we move forward, we hope that the key findings from the study will be meaningful for this entire ecosystem in this era of added uncertainties,” said Shambhavi Srivastava, Lead- Research Advisory at Sattva Consulting.

“One of the very significant learnings from this research is that some of the issues that we are dealing with are so large that it is virtually impossible for any single organisation to handle it by itself. It is only through a collective, collaborative effort and momentum we can hope to find some answers to some of the issues,” said Ashok Malhotra, Managing Partner at Reflexive Lenses.
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