Eliminating Forced Labor in India
All people, no matter where you live, have the right to find a job where they are physically free and safe, earn fair pay for good work, and enjoy equitable working conditions. As supply chains become more and more complex, Target partnered with IJM to help combat labor trafficking in India to ensure worker well-being throughout their supply chains.
Vulnerable populations are targets for forced labor
Harsh climate and economic conditions in northern India are spurring a migration of manual laborers to the southern part of the country. When individuals do not know their rights or
how to identify trafficking schemes, they can be recruited and trapped in debt bondage and forced labor slavery.
As Target sought to root out forced labor from supply chains, they entered a multi-year partnership with IJM to develop two programs to combat labor trafficking in India. The ultimate goal was to create an enabling environment for effective justice system responses to the crime through the empowerment of workers and creation of strong policy frameworks.
In northern India, IJM equipped survivors of labor trafficking and community members with safe migration practices, policies, and opportunities. Additionally, this program included initiatives that promoted enhanced strategies and procedures to ensure safe migration for laborers.
In southern India, IJM built a grassroots anti-labor trafficking program that focused on prevention, equipping non-governmental organizations with tools to address trafficking, and empowering survivors to become advocates with government leaders.
The program also aimed to engage the media to broadly share about the prevalence of bonded labor. These efforts were designed to build bridges between the local community and government and to increase public confidence in reporting cases of bonded labor. Finally, at the government level, IJM engaged with state government officials to advocate for stronger policies and procedures that promote safe migration.
Key Findings and Results
The partnership with Target gave IJM the opportunity to deepen the Southern India Grassroots Prevention Program that is committed to supporting the government of Karnataka in their fight against human trafficking and bonded labor.
Target is committed to supporting the rights of workers in their supply chains around the world and has made a commitment to not work with suppliers who violate those rights. The monumental gains of the Southern India Grassroots Prevention Program and the Northern India Safe Migration program in partnership with the Target Corporation have set the stage for IJM to achieve this vision and eventually see the decline of slavery in India. We look forward to future collaboration and hope to continue working with Target to see an end to forced labor in India.