TRAUMA COUNSEL: VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING
Radha and Nirmala‘s(name changed) reunion with their family: Domestic Work is one of the sectors, where children are abused and exploited, verbally, physically and sexually behind the closed doors. They are unseen, unnoticed and their cry is unheard. Here is the story of these trafficked children into domestic work, being rescued and accompanied to rebuild their life again.
Six years before, Radha and Nirmala were trafficked for domestic work, from a remote village in Odisha through their own village woman, when they were 10 and 13 respectively. Immediately after reaching a big city (for they know not the name of the city, then) they were separated. Time and again they were transferred from house to house for work. No go, the girls had to fulfil the expectation of different employers and huge demand from their side to adopt to different environment, such as language, persons, working pattern, food, culture, etc. at work place, the employer’s house. During this period, they had no contact with their families. They were totally uprooted from their comfort zone: their family, friends, native village, culture, language etc.
There in the village, the woman- agent’s false promises that girls are happy in their employer’s house and they would bring big amount as salary were slowly fading away, when the parents were not able to speak with their children, even once, over the phone from the day they were taken for work. They almost lost the hope of seeing their girls, again in life.
Learning this trafficked case, National Domestic Workers’ Movement sought the cooperation of the village leaders, organised village meeting, where the agent was asked to be present for the meeting. She was warned and forced to hand over the girls to their respective parents by the village heads.
Reunion of these two Child Domestic Workers was joyful event. Six years, home away Child Domestic Workers were not fluent speaking their language. They were also traumatized mentally. NDWM accompanied them, individually listening and counselling them.
THEIR OWN WORDS:
“Prevention is better than cure” is the approach NDWM follows to protect children from trafficking. Different programs were organised in regions, where the symptoms of trafficking prevail, to empower the civil society, community, parents and children themselves.
NDWM-Bihar Region rescues Child Domestic Workers and enrolls them in school and trains them vocation skills to build up their future. One such initiative was, along with Action against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children (ATSEC), which collaborated with the central government-CRPF staff. They trained 50 adolescent girls and boys (CDWS) who had worked as security guards. They were also placed in different hotels and hostels as security guards and gain future for their livelihood.
LEGAL TRAINING FOR MIGRANT DOMESTIC WORKERS:
The Migrant Domestic Workers are vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse and dehumanizing treatment which affect them psychologically. At their work place i.e. in the employer’s house, they are all alone with less or no legal and moral support, when faced with problems. Domestic Workers are falsely accused and tortured in police custody. The Domestic Workers, unaware of legal procedure remain silent victim. It was great need to empower them on legal aid.
NDWM – Bihar, organized capacity building for Migrant Domestic Workers, working in Patna. The capacity building program was organized on “The Labour and Fundamental Rights” on 21st August. Fr.Peter Ladis, Professor at Chanakya National Law University-Patna along with his group of students trained 160 Domestic Workers. The students staged two skits to communicate to Domestic Workers, the process of filing FIR and how to protect oneself, when falsely accused. The Domestic Workers were practically taught with simple language, how fill up the Right to Information (RTI) form and the follow up of it. The main focus of the program was to help Domestic Workers, to become law friendly, as it is administered on everyone equally irrespective of economical, educational differences and etc. The Domestic Workers clarified many of their doubts regarding legal matters.
On 4th September, 2011 A sizeable group of 62 Child Domestic workers came were gathered for an interactive sessions with Smt. Lukos, the Chairman of the Child Welfare Committee, Smt. Jeroo Master, the Chief of UNICEF, Apurbo Thakuriya and Sumi Borthapur, the field teachers of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. For Assam-Child Welfare Committee, the part time Child Domestic Workers were a new category of child labour group that they came across. During the session Child Rights and the issue of trafficking were highlighted to protect the Children.
TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING FOR MIGRANT DOMESTIC WORKERS:
Four training programs for prospective migrants, interstate migrants and returnee migrants were conducted at 4 different locations in Guwahati.
A program on “Capacity building of women leaders on Human Trafficking” was held on 11th & 12th September 2011. The Domestic Workers were briefed the concept on human trafficking. Unsafe migration of young girls leads to human trafficking. Miss. Dibya Das, the Program Coordinator did a power point presentation on what human trafficking is all about, purpose of trafficking, push and pull factor, impact of trafficking, who is a traffickers etc. She also spoke on the different dimensions/stages of anti-human trafficking initiatives.
Following is the action plan of NDWM-Assam for the next one year:
1. Awareness generation and promotion on ‘safe migration’
2. Youth, SHG and Community mobilization.
3. Establishing vigilance committee at local level consist of SHGs, Youth club, Women groups etc
4. Formation of support structure involving local administration, police etc.
5. Networking and Advocacy at local level and district level.
The rescued and rehabilitated Child Domestic Workers play active role in protecting the rights of Children. Various programs are conducted to empower them and to promote their leadership and participation. In Tamil Nadu, they are the voice of children who are trafficked and exploited and abused behind the closed doors. They screen the Tamil Movie “Kutti”, in the villages, which portraits the plight of a trafficked girl who escape from Domestic work.
NDWM organized the Workshop on the Child Rights. The participants were from different departments like – Labour Ministry, Police department, Schools, NGOs, CBOs, Village headmen, Social Welfare, Khasi Students Union, Women Association, the employers and representatives of Child Domestic Workers. The resource person was Dr. Fenella Lyngdoh Nonglait, Vice Chairman, Meghalaya State Women Laws Commission. She elucidated the two branches of the Provision of the Act:
1) The Child Welfare Committee and 2) The Juvenile Justice Board. The Child Welfare Committee has the responsibility to take care and protect abandoned, abused like physically, mentally, morally, and sexually abused children. After this session there were lots of questions haul up from the participants, as they are committed to promote Child’s Rights. The long hour of discussions and deliberations equipped the participants to protect rights of trafficked children.
NDWM is toward promoting Child Rights of all the children. In this regard, networks with Child Welfare Committee and like-minded NGOs in different region.
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National Coordinator; Project Coordinator