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When we raise our voice: the challenge of eradicating labor exploitation

April 1, 2016

The report When we raise our voice: the challenge of eradicating labor exploitation assesses the work of Manav Sansadhan Evam Mahila Vikas Sansthan (MSEMVS), an NGO combating forced and bonded labour in Uttar Pradesh, India, a region marked by economic vulnerability and exploitation in industries like agriculture and carpet making. MSEMVS employs a community empowerment model, providing education, legal aid, and skills training to combat these conditions. The study, conducted by the Harvard FXB Center, with the technical input and the field-level data collection of the Delhi-based Institute for Human Development (IHD), and funded by the Freedom Fund, aimed to evaluate MSEMVS’s impact on eradicating forced labour and improving socio-economic factors.

Using mixed methods, the research examined villages with MSEMVS interventions and comparable communities. It found overall labour conditions improved, and that MSEMVS positively influenced debt reduction, wage levels, food security, and access to government programs. However, impacts on child marriage and labour were inconclusive. Recommendations include further research on social, legal, and caste-related factors contributing to exploitation, and the role of community organizations in combatting it. The study highlights the importance of multifaceted, community-based approaches in addressing forced labour and calls for continued exploration of local solutions and empowerment strategies.

Click here or on the image below to access the report.

Written by
The Freedom Fund