Millions of children, women and men are being enslaved, degraded and silenced across India today—and IJM cannot rescue them alone.
When we first began work in India, slavery seemed hidden.
Many people told us they didn’t believe it still existed in the country, and those who were aware of it didn’t have hope that anything could change. While India has strong laws against both sex trafficking and forced labor, historically, these anti-slavery laws have not been enforced, and traffickers and slave owners have exploited children, women and men with impunity.
But the scales are starting to tip toward justice—and, every day, we are seeing proof that makes us more confident that slavery in India can end within our lifetime.
We rescue victims by identifying brothels, hotels and other locations where women and young girls are being trafficked. We partner with police agencies to rescue the victims and ensure that each survivor is treated with dignity and respect.
BRING CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE
We bring criminals to justice by helping build strong cases against the brothel owners, managers and pimps so that India's anti-trafficking laws are enforced. We support prosecutors at every step of the lengthy trial process and advocate for fair sentences that reflect the crime as defined by Indian law.
We restore survivors by walking closely with every young woman from the night she is rescued to the day she will complete our aftercare program-often years later. We partner with local aftercare homes that offer safe housing, education and job training. IJM social workers develop treatment plans for each survivor focusing on physical health, trauma counseling, personal security and economic self-sufficiency so she can truly thrive in freedom.
STRENGTHEN JUSTICE SYSTEMS
We strengthen justice systems by working hand-in-hand with investigating agencies and the judicial system. We partner with local government agencies to provide training that educates officials on trafficking and how to prevent, identify and prosecute the crime.
“From my work on the frontlines, I can see the momentum for change building. I believe we are facing a very unique window of opportunity in India to make lasting change; to redirect the course of history. We can be the generation that ends slavery in India once and for all.”
Since 2000, IJM and our trained partners have secured freedom for more than 16,000 survivors of forced labour—and more than 1,000 survivors of sex trafficking. Thousands of former slaves have participated in IJM’s aftercare program since 2006.
We have provided training to nearly 64,000 Indian officials, and are seeing them respond with unprecedented mass enforcement actions against forced labour slavery on their own initiative. This is what will make the fight against slavery sustainable.
Our innovative two-year aftercare program for former slaves begins with a Freedom Training, where participants learn the basics of life in freedom—from opening a bank account to building healthy families—and includes seminars, one-on-one meetings and community support groups. We are now training partners to replicate our successful model, which has expanded our impact across the country.