Millions of people in South Asia are migrant workers, forced to travel large distances to find daily wage work in sectors such as construction, agriculture and domestic work. This kind of insecure work is often the only choice for people from excluded communities who are typically landless and rarely have access to education or vocational skills. Karuna is working with local partner organisations with well-established networks in areas that are especially vulnerable to exploitation.
Migrant workers lack knowledge about their rights and government welfare schemes, leaving them open to exploitation and forced labour. Many are unable to support themselves or their families on meagre daily wages, forcing them to take loans and trapping them in an exploitative cycle of debt and bondage to the business or landowner. Despite the illegality of such treatment, social stigma and lack of representation in society means that their abuse too often remains invisible.
By: - establishing Migrant Resource Centres at key sites - funding a toll-free telephone helpline and rescue team - facilitating the safe movement of migrant labourers - training on women's rights & legal aid. Migrant workers and victims of trafficking are in desperate need of extra support. Over the next 3 years, we are going to significantly extend our work with these communities, reaching out to 50,000 families per year, increasing livelihood security and protection from exploitation.
Through this intervention migrant workers will know their rights and have access to benefits, meaning they can pursue livelihoods local to them. There will be an increased awareness of trafficking and the risks of migration, especially in vulnerable border areas. This will mitigate the risk to women and girls of exploitation and abuse.
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