No matter who you are, you have the right to find a job where you are physically free and safe, to be paid for your work, and enjoy equitable working conditions with your peers. 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 seeks to root out forced labor from supply chains, they have entered a multi-year partnership with IJM to develop two programs to combat labor trafficking in India. The ultimate goal is to empower job seekers at the local level to keep themselves safe from potential abuse.
In northern India, IJM is equipping survivors of labor trafficking and community members with mass education on safe migration practices, policies and opportunities. Additionally, this program includes initiatives that promote enhanced policies and procedures to ensure safe migration for laborers.
In southern India, funds from Target are enabling IJM to build a grassroots labor trafficking prevention program that focuses on prevention campaigns, equipping non-governmental organizations with tools to address trafficking, and empowering survivors to become advocates with government leaders.
The program also aims to engage the media to raise general awareness about the prevalence of bonded labor. These efforts are 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 is engaging 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 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 will 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.