NEW PROJECTS: 2023
COMBATTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Kangemi, Kenya
Human trafficking is a complex and widespread problem that deprives people of their basic rights and fuels the growth of organised crime by exploiting those most vulnerable. People living in informal settlements are most at risk due to extreme poverty and limited employment opportunities.
This project aims to reduce human trafficking in the Kangemi informal settlement in Nairobi, an area home to migrants and refugees from neighbouring countries. By working with local partners, it seeks to mobilise the community through education and rights awareness training. By doing so, the community will become aware of their human rights, be able to recognise the warning signs of potential trafficking, and know how to seek help when someone is trafficked.
This project addresses key challenges affecting the fundamental rights specified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by increasing awareness of human trafficking in informal settlements within local communities. Health workers, law enforcement and other public bodies will be engaged to support the project’s initiatives. Strengthening local networks will bridge gaps, making it easier to approach one another for consultation and referrals. A holistic approach to supporting the victims and survivors of human trafficking will ensure that the community is informed, aware and alert to the dangers of trafficking and will reduce the risk to women and children.
The residents of Kangemi will obtain knowledge that empowers them to recognise and avoid all forms of human trafficking and therefore live safe and secure lives free from the physical and emotional abuse caused by trafficking.
EDUCATION SUPPORT FOR GIRLS: Dharan, Nepal
Education is a necessary human right that plays an important role in the alleviation of poverty. However, in Nepal, many girls face challenges in accessing education. Due to gender expectations related to domestic and care responsibilities and social biases towards boys’ education, many girls leave school prior to adolescence.
This project focuses on providing a safe environment for underprivileged young women and girls to receive an education. Girls’ education is not a priority for many families who often opt for child marriage as an alternative to schooling their daughters. By offering safe access to education and training opportunities away from home, young women and girls have prospects beyond early marriage.
The project supports girls from informal settlements that are largely home to migrants from the Nepali Hill districts. These marginalised communities have limited access to rights due to internal displacement and a lack of employment opportunities. Women and girls from this area are further disadvantaged due to gender inequalities and discrimination.
The project aims to break the cycle of poverty by helping girls secure quality education, reduce illiteracy, prevent human trafficking, provide nutritious food, and promote the rights and opportunities of young women and girls. Educational initiatives include vocational training, health and nutrition, rights awareness, women’s empowerment, and human trafficking prevention. The young women and girls are provided with a safe and socially-inclusive place to live while studying, enabling them to experience personal freedom and agency.
LEGAL AID: West Bengal, India
Tea plantation workers are habitually deprived of fundamental rights and entitlements, unaware of the statutory and legal assistance available. Darjeeling tea estates operate as economic production units and social institutions that control all aspects of the lives of those who reside there. The estates continue to operate in the same feudal manner 150 years after British establishment. Tea workers are impoverished and vulnerable, with no access to alternate accommodation or income.
This project takes a participatory and rightsbased approach, focusing on upholding the rights of women and children. The project addresses power imbalances by providing vulnerable tea plantation workers access to a network of legal advisors known as “barefoot lawyers”. The “barefoot lawyers” are trained to guide and support community members in legal matters, including worker exploitation, family violence and human trafficking. Qualified lawyers are engaged for issues that cannot be resolved with the assistance of “barefoot lawyers”. Tea plantation workers are one of India’s most at-risk communities. Labourers live in kuchhas, shack-like houses, without electricity, sanitation or running water. Earning below minimum wage makes it impossible for families to move in pursuit of better economic opportunities.
The project will generate awareness amongst tea plantation workers of common legal challenges and create safety nets for them. This project aims to ensure that victims of any injustice or crime are aware of the process for seeking justice and have the confidence to come forward.
Author: Kaithlyn McNab, MWIA Administration Assistant