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Two Girls Rescued from Domestic Slavery

 

Victim with police at the time of rescue
Delhi, India
Earlier this month, two girls were rescued from forced domestic slavery in Delhi, India. The rescue was conducted by government officials and police in collaboration with Justice Ventures International and one of its local partners, EFICOR.

Sixteen-year old Amrita* and 18 year old Meera* were brought to Delhi from rural India with promises of good jobs and decent wages to support their families. rescued girls_feb17 2They were sold to work in Delhi homes where they were forced to toil for long hours with little rest. They were prohibited from leaving the houses where they worked or to communicate with others.  When the men who owned the homes went out, the girls were locked inside. One of the girls was repeatedly beaten and sexually abused.

Now free, these young women are under the care of a shelter home where they are receiving counseling and rehabilitation.  JVI lawyers are working with labor officials to secure full back wages for the girls while ensuring that criminal proceedings move forward against the perpetrators.

* Names changed to protect the identity of the victims.

 All content and images are the property of JVI © 2017.

2016 Accomplishments

JVI 2016 ACCCOMPLISHMENTS 3.12.2016

In 2016, Justice Ventures International (JVI) directly brought greater freedom, justice, and restoration to over 5000 poor and oppressed individuals in India and China.

Securing justice for victims through legal casework.
Through 20 rescue operations in India, JVI and its partners secured the freedom of over 290 men, women and children from forced labor slavery in brick kilns, farms, domestic service, and other manufacturing units. Upon securing their freedom, JVI and its partners work closely with these survivors over at least a 24 month period ensuring that they receive government compensation, ration cards, livelihood assistance (bicycles, livestock, carts, etc.), job cards, voter identity cards and other rights that they are entitled to under law.
57 perpetrators are under criminal prosecution and some are currently behind bars and have paid significant back wages for labor violations. JVI lawyers have provided greater access to justice for over 1700 victims of human trafficking and other injustice on over 180 legal cases (including cases focused on debt slavery, sex trafficking, slum-dweller rights, migrant worker rights, wrongful imprisonment and other injustices).

Empowering the oppressed through human rights training
Through 141 training sessions conducted in India and China, over 3,700 local community residents, NGO leaders, government officers, police officers, prosecutors, and judges were educated, sensitized and empowered to fight human trafficking and other extreme injustice more effectively. In addition, JVI produced an Anti-Human Trafficking Toolkit providing standard operating proceedures for justice organizations and their lawyers in fighting human trafficking.

Advancing systems change through advocacy
JVI joined forces with a range of NGOs, businesses and other stakeholders to advocate for positive changes in government systems impacting men, women, and children suffering from bonded labor, child labor, sex trafficking, and other forms of human rights abuse. These efforts have let to greater protection of victims of injustice from exploitation and new social and economic opportunities for the poor and oppressed.

Ensuring sustained freedom, justice, and restoration for the vulnerable by strengthening freedom businesses and other justice organizations

In 2016, JVI partnered with over 25 different justice ventures or organizations in India, Nepal and China by providing training, legal consultations, victim rescue technical assistance, prosecution support and aftercare assistance. JVI also strengthened a number of freedom businesses including Freeset Global, Sari Bari, and the Starfish Project. Through the Shop for Freedom Campaign, JVI expanded the sales of these businesses and ensured sustained economic freedom for over 300 women rescued from the sex trade and now employed by these businesses. JVI also provides pro bono legal services to ensure these businesses operate in accordance with US, Indian and Chinese laws. JVI has mobilized a network of over 500 volunteers in the US and abroad to promote to fight human trafficking and other extreme injustice.

Two Minor Girls Rescued from Forced Marriage

Murshidabad, West Bengal, India

Two young girls began a new life of freedom this new year. This past December, Justice Ventures International (JVI), in collaboration with local partners and government officials, rescued two girls from situations of forced child marriage. The legal age for marriage in India is 18 for women according to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) of 2006.  Unfortunately, in certain areas of India, child marriage is widely practiced.

rescued girls

Raina*, 14 years old, moved to Mumbai, from West Bengal, with her family in search of better job opportunities. She was asked to quit school in the 6th grade to find work to help her family. JVI and its partners received notice that some of her relatives had arranged a marriage for Raina with an adult in Mumbai.   The police were alerted and after a short investigation, prevented the relatives from forcing the young girl into marriage.  Raina was rescued and is home in West Bengal, while our social enterprise partner, Freeset, is working to find jobs for the family with sustainable income that will provide a future to Raina and her sisters.

Jaya*, 12 years old, lived in rural West Bengal with relatives but apart from her mother.  One day, without her knowledge or the knowledge of her mother,  she was forcibly married to a 30-year-old man. Her mother approached JVI and our partners who initiated a rescue operation.   A JVI lawyer secured an annulment, declaring the marriage null and void, returning Jaya to her home and reuniting her with her mother.

JVI partners will work with Raina and Jaya to ensure they are enrolled in school and find local support for their parents to take care of the girls.  JVI will continue to fight against forced child marriage and help ensure girls like Raina and Jaya experience the childhood they deserve.

* Names changed to protect the identity of the victims.

 All content and images are the property of JVI © 2017.