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Project: Gateway to Employment and Economic Empowerment for Survivors of Trafficking

On going project : 26 Jun, 2019

Over three years’ experience of placement of women and girls in jobs, CWCS observed that survivors and potential victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation who have young children could not continue their services at garment factory in Dhaka and left the job to join with their young children. Moreover, adolescent girls of below 18 years old are declared underage to be employed in garment factory by the authority. Moreover, some women and girls left the jobs after reconciliation with their husbands, some became sick and some could not cope with the working environment in garment factory.On the other hand, in 2014 Bangladesh Garments Manufacturing and Exporting Authority (BGMEA) decided to reduce recruiting workers as helpers and they set criteria that those women and girls who have been completed at least primary education can be qualified to join as helpers. As a consequence, many survivors and potential victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation could not be placed in jobs at garment factory.

Therefore, in 2014, CWCS planned to include an activity to develop skills of survivors and potential victims on tailoring in Satkhira district and provided a sewing machine to each of trained women and girls at free of cost so that they can be involved in Income Generating Activities (IGA) staying at home or working in a shop in their areas.

In 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Centre for Women and Children Studies and The Ananata Garment Factory regarding job placement of survivors and potential victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation at garment factory in Dhaka.

Objective of the project:

Empowerment of survivors and potential victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation through improvement of their socio-economic condition.

Project activities:

Activity 1:

Identification of survivors/potential victims of trafficking of Satkhira district, in- service training and job placement in the garment factory at Dhaka:

  • About 40 survivors and potential victims of above the age of 18 years were identified and selected among survivors of trafficking, sexual exploitation, victims of domestic violence and suffered from extreme poverty.
  • An agreement signed with between guardians of survivors or potential victims and Centre for Women and Children Studies regarding their job placement in Dhaka.
  • At present 29 victims are working at the garment factory and are earning from taka 6,200-8,200 per month including overtime payment.
  • There is a 24 hour hotline number at CWCS office to communicate with concerned CWCS staff and key stakeholders. Survivors, their guardians and authority of the garment factory can communicate for any urgent need at any time and CWCS rush to provide necessary support.
  • Maintained continuous liaison and communication by CWCS staff to cooperate them for their well-being.

Activity 2:

Involvement of survivors and potential victims in Income Generating Activities (IGA):

  • About 20 survivors and potential victims (6 were trafficked victims, 5 were sexually exploited, 2 were victims of domestic violence and 7 were potential victims) were provided with training on tailoring and sewing in two batches at the training centre set up by CWCS in Satkhira district. One in 7 August- 7 November 2014 (three months) in one shift for 10 survivors and potential victims and the training of another batch was held during November-December 2014 in double shifts.
  • They were also provided with sewing machines at free of cost.
  • At present, the trained up women and girls are earning money by making dress at their home. About 10 girls have resumed their studies and bear their educational expenditure with their own earnings.
  • Other women are supporting their families with their earnings of amount taka 1,000-2,500 per month. They are hopeful that they will be self-reliant and also be empowered with education, skills and decision making roles in their families and community.

Activity 3:

Organized 20 Courtyard meetings with women and girls in remote villages on the issues of trafficking and sexual exploitation as well as rehabilitation of victims by providing them job placement in garment factory as well as imparting training on tailoring and sewing with a sewing machine at free of cost:

  • About 619 vulnerable village women in Debhata, Kaliganj, Satkhira Sadar and Kalaroa upazilas attended the courtyard meetings.
  • About 7 victims were identified by the participants of the courtyard meetings of whom 5 were placed in garment factory and 2 were provided training on tailoring and sewing.
  • The participants identified that lack of education and dowry demand leads unmarried girls to be crazy of seeking jobs within the country and overseas employment and become victims of trafficking. Men and women are going to India to work in brick field while male persons work as labourers, their wives are engaged in cooking food of workers but these women also face exploitation there.