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149 Rescued from Bonded Labor Slavery

Rescued victims

Uttar Pradesh, India

In March, JVI and one of its local partners collaborated with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), local government officials and police to secure the freedom of 149 bonded labor victims from two brick kilns in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The families were severely malnourished and suffered physical abuse by the owners. They were lured from another state into a life of slavery by traffickers promising a better future. But one of the laborers contacted a JVI partner organzation and asked for help. Together JVI and its partner carefully documented the case and submitted it to government authorities.
Brick Kilns where the victims lived and worked
Men, women and children were forced to work more than eighteen hours a day under grueling conditions. They were not allowed any medical care, and received bare rations of rice and potatoes for only two meals a day. Moreover they were denied minimum wages. At night the families lived in tiny mud huts with no doors.  Living all day exposed to the elements, many of the women and children were found to be sick.

Victims waiting at the train station to return to their home stateOn the day of rescue, the families were very emotional and begged to be rescued. JVI and its partner organization worked with local officials to remove the families from the kilns, and arranged transportation for them to return to their home state. The rehabilitation of the survivors has begun and JVI is working with authorities to pursue the criminal prosecution of the brick kiln owners.

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

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.