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UN launches joint project to protect 100,000 women in South Asia from trafficking

( 17 July, 2013) A new project launched Monday by the United Nations labour agency and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) seeks to prevent 100,000 girls and women across South Asia from falling victims to labour trafficking. The project aims to provide South Asian women migrating to the Middle East in search for jobs with skills, pre-departure training and other support to help them avoid being trafficked and to secure a legal contract and decent wage. It will also combat child labour by helping thousands of girls under 16 years, to stay in school so they are not compelled to migrate for work. “Labour mobility is a reality of our globalized economy, but with it comes an increased risk of labour trafficking, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable,” said the Director-General of the International Labour Organization, Guy Ryder. “We estimate over $12 billion worth of income a year is withheld from those in forced labour in Asia and the Middle East. This is money that should be helping lift families out of poverty.” Every year, millions of people from poor communities migrate to find employment, so they can send money home to support their families. They get jobs such as live-in domestic workers cooking, cleaning and looking after families or in garment factories. Many end-up being deceived and trafficked into jobs with extremely low wages, or no pay at all. According to ILO, around 21 million people are trafficked and in forced labour worldwide. The majority are from Asia with women and girls being the most vulnerable to this practice.
Through the “Work in Freedom” project, the UK Government is investing £9.75 million ($14.7 million) over five years to help tackle known labour trafficking routes between South Asia, such as Bangladesh and Nepal, to the Middle East including Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. “This ground-breaking partnership with the UK Government is a vital step in making migration for work a safe and legitimate means of improving livelihoods,” said Ryder
Source: UN


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