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Listening to the voices on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Date: January 11, 2024

As we mark National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, a moment of reflection on the strides made and challenges overcome in the fight against this grave crime is paramount. Empower People, a dedicated advocate in this battle, took this day to not only remember but to illuminate the path toward a world free from exploitation.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, observed annually on January 11th, is an important part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. This dedicated day aims to raise awareness about human trafficking, a severe violation of human rights affecting millions globally. On this day, Empower People, through our three impactful projects, actively contributes to the fight against human trafficking.

The saying "Women's rights are human rights" is known, but sadly, women's rights are often ignored. A significant issue is bride trafficking, which makes women endure a life of exploitation, abuse, and suffering. Bride trafficking not only takes away the basic rights of these women but also exacerbates gender-based violence. It takes away their freedom to make choices and control their lives. It's really important to address and halt these practices so that women can live without mistreatment and fully enjoy their fundamental human rights and Empower People is dedicated to working on and addressing the issue of bride trafficking.

Empower People's Three Projects' Initiatives on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Project SEAL - Voices Rising Against Human Trafficking:

The Project SEAL initiative marked an important moment with a rally that brought together our CBO leaders. This wasn't just a mere demonstration; it resonated as a unified call for change orchestrated by Project SEAL.

The rally served as a powerful platform for collective inspiration, urging individuals from all walks of life to unite in the fight against human trafficking. Beyond the noise of the gathering, the stories of exploitation and deception reverberated through the streets, creating a rallying cry that emerged as a beacon of hope. It illuminated a path towards a future unburdened by the shackles of this pervasive evil.

In the face of these stark realities, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day becomes a catalyst for unity, compelling us to stand against the destruction caused by human trafficking. Project SEAL's rally stands as a symbol of resilience and a clarion call for a world where exploitation finds no haven, and lives are no longer marred by the chains of trafficking.

Project EASE - Empowering Survivors with Legal Guidance:

Project EASE shone as a beacon of hope on this awareness day, bringing together advocates, Civil Society Organizations, and survivors. The program offered survivors a platform to ask questions, seeking clarity on legal processes. Advocates like Jahidul Rahman and VDP Secretary Monowar Hussain actively joined, empowering survivors with knowledge about their legal rights. The event wasn't just informative but transformative, laying the groundwork for a future where survivors can confidently navigate the legal system.

Team EASE dedicated the day to actively engaging advocates, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), members of mother clubs and girls’ clubs. The program served as a platform for sharing crucial information about legal processes related to human trafficking. The main goal was to empower community with knowledge about their rights and guide them on accessing legal support. By delivering this essential information, Project EASE aimed to equip survivors with the tools needed to navigate the legal system and seek justice.

The event witnessed active participation from advocate Jahidur Raham, VDP President Monowar Hussain, Aminul Hussain, CSO group members, mother club representatives and girls club members. The program proved to be an invaluable source of information regarding legal processes, human rights, and the available support for trafficking survivors. Some women's asked questions about their rights, and these inquiries were addressed in detail, providing clarity on how to obtain the necessary legal assistance.

Project RISE - Strengthening Communities through Open Dialogues:

Project RISE , extending its reach to Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and communities. Through open dialogues, notable women like Sonia ji and Luxmi ji shared the challenges they face, fostering a sense of solidarity. From these discussions, valuable recommendations for future initiatives surfaced, illuminating a path for sustained awareness programs and targeted interventions.

To mark Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Empower People's Project RISE Team in Karnal engaged Self-Help Groups (SHGs), educating them about the day and explaining their rights. In these sessions, women from the SHGs openly shared their challenges, such as limited job opportunities. This dialogue created a sense of solidarity within the group, fostering a stronger collective stance against human trafficking. Simultaneously, Team RISE in Panipat conducted a program providing women with comprehensive information on various legislations.

Voices Echoing Resilience:

In the midst of these initiatives, powerful voices emerged, resonating with strength and resilience.

The Resilient Voice of Sonia:

Sonia, whose name has been changed for privacy, shared the challenge of adapting to a new environment. In her own words, "In our language, we call the water pot 'matka' at home and 'deekchi' in the in-laws' house." Her story reflects the struggles faced by many in adjusting to new surroundings.

Laxmi's Struggle and Strength:

Laxmi, under the veil of a changed name, highlighted the scarcity of work under MGNREGA in her area. She bravely expressed, "Work under MGNREGA is scarce here." Laxmi's voice resonates, shedding light on the challenges faced by individuals in regions with limited employment opportunities.

Komal's Courageous Revelation:

Komal, whose name has been changed, a member of our girls' club, shared her experiences. ‘Joining the girls' club group became a source of solace for me, nurturing the courage to address issues and empowering me to learn about my rights.' Komal's journey reflects the strength found in unity and support.

A Grateful Journey of Empowerment:

As National Human Trafficking Awareness Day draws to a close, Empower People stands as a pillar of resilience and empowerment. The triumphant impact of SEAL, EASE, and RISE projects, coupled with the courageous voices of Komal, Sonia, and Laxmi, reaffirms the organization's commitment to eradicating human trafficking.

In Conclusion: Making a Mark in the Fight Against Human Trafficking

As National Human Trafficking Awareness Day drew to a close, Empower People stood tall, having left an indelible mark on the fight against human trafficking. The triumph of SEAL, EASE, and RISE projects signifies a dedicated commitment to eradicating this crime. The heartfelt quotes from the ground - the resilience of Komal, the experiences of Sonia ji, Laxmi ji, and others - amplify the urgency and significance of the ongoing battle.

Empower People extends gratitude to all contributors, advocates, and participants who played a pivotal role in making the National Human Trafficking Awareness Day program a success. As we forge ahead, united in the pursuit of a world free from exploitation, these voices remain etched in our mission, propelling us forward with renewed Vigor and purpose. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to empower lives and break the chains of human trafficking.

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