National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) initiated the anti-human-trafficking programme in 2013 following a direction from the Supreme Court to the Department of Rural Development, Government of India.
In the context of rising cases of trafficking of women and children in rural areas, the Supreme Court, in the Buddhadev Karmaskar v State of West Bengal case, issued directions to the Department of Rural Development to initiate steps to curb human trafficking.
In Kerala, three blocks were selected from three border districts for the pilot programme.
- Devikulam in Idukki
- Chittur in Palakkad
- Mananthavadi in Wayanad
These blocks were selected due to their reported incidence of human trafficking.
Three core areas of the NRLM pilot were:
- Technical skill upgradation and economic rehabilitation
- Accessing entitlements and
- Reintegration with the community
Creating livelihood opportunities for the affected and developing social and institutional support have been part of the pilot project. Interventions beyond the purview of the pilot programme are to be taken up by specialised agencies with experience in the field.
Kudumbashree’s strength in implementing the project has been its widespread community network. The community network, with its strong links with the local self-government institutions, has been able to address the complexities of trafficking. The network's inherent strengths helped in conducting effective situational analysis for identifying vulnerable groups, high risk families, escapees and resistors.
The community network could respond to issues from a socio-economic perspective. Social interventions include providing counselling, legal awareness, ensuring support system that helps them cope with and overcome the trafficking-induced trauma. They also include facilitative support in education and health. Economic interventions include encouraging and supporting the affected person to engage in livelihood options. Kudumbashree community network's experience in livelihood promotion through enterprises helps in economic interventions for the trafficking affected persons.
The GSLP resource network supports the project processes. The project implementation has been through collaborative efforts of different agencies:
- The Kudumbashree community network
- Project staff
- Local governments
- Social justice department
Focused group discussions were conducted extensively to identify vulnerable groups, high risk groups, and those who have escaped or resisted atrocities.
Migration centre was set up for the registration of people leaving the State as job seekers for preventing trafficking. The centre has a system for verifying the facts for people registered. The centre will also focus on emotional and vocational rehabilitation of the survivors among high risk groups. Three of the Snehitha help desks were set up as part of the anti-trafficking project.