Border Station Surveillance and Transit Homes
Our Daughters International is stopping human trafficking in its tracks. While being moved from Nepal to India, trafficking victims are stopped at the border and interviewed by our partner’s experienced staff. Many of their staff have a unique understanding of what to look for as they too were once victims. Once they identify a victim, their team, dressed in purple, provides the victim safety and care; she is now a survivor. During the first 48 hours of being rescued, they work with local law enforcement to press charges against the traffickers, contact the survivor’s family to determine if unification is possible and establish the action plan for aftercare services.
Brothel Rescue and Transit Home
Trafficking victims that make it into India are taken to brothels and forced into sexual exploitation or are held in hotels and groomed before being sent abroad to the Middle East, Europe, and beyond. Our partner, in Delhi, works closely with law enforcement, governmental services, and embassies to rescue trafficking victims being held captive and to repatriate them. Once rescued, the survivors will begin the recovery process by receiving health assessments, contacting their family to determine if unification is possible, and establish an action plan for aftercare services and transportation to their homeland.
The goal is to see rescued girls return home to be reunited with their families. However, sometimes trauma or unsafe situations do not allow the girls to go home and, instead, they are welcomed into a safe home and become “our daughters”. While there, girls receive counseling, health assessments, and care as needed from an experienced and loving team. During this recovery process emotional walls begin to come down and hope begins to be restored. During their 4-8 week stay in the safe house the daughters begin the process of identifying their passion and plan for life after recovery through skills training as a part of their therapy. During this time they also begin the process of rebuilding the relationship with their families when possible.
Community Empowerment Groups
As our daughters return to their communities, they establish women’s empowerment groups. As empowered community leaders, they establish self-sustaining businesses, bring anti-trafficking and child-marriage awareness to their communities, encourage self-value and leadership, and host cooperatives (farming, job skills training, and savings groups) and entrepreneurial development. These communities are stronger because our daughter has returned, giving her a platform to bring hope to those around her. Some of these empowerment groups start savings groups that grow in size until they become recognized as a federal bank.
Girls that have an education are far less likely to become victims of human trafficking. That’s why we’ve started an education scholarship and mentoring program for girls living in at-risk communities. By receiving an education, their opportunities for employment are greatly improved, ensuring they become a leader in their society instead of a victim. In addition to paying their school tuition, each girl in the program is mentored by the staff members from Our Daughter’s partner in Nepal. Through that one-on-one relationship, the sponsored girl will gain awareness of signs of human trafficking and learn how to become an anti-trafficking advocate in her community.
Community Mobilization and Awareness
Traffickers prey on the vulnerable and uninformed by promising an escape from poverty and a better life. Many of these victims are tricked into a life of pain and hopelessness. Through awareness programs in at-risk communities, trafficking can be stopped before it happens. Our desire is to create communities that are defenders of the vulnerable.
One battle in the war against human trafficking is the prosecution of traffickers. We come alongside victims by providing them with the legal support needed to prosecute traffickers. Our Daughters team also works with local judicial system and law enforcement to enhance their response to human trafficking. This includes training on victim-friendly services and identifying ways to help the judicial system strengthen anti-trafficking laws. In recent years, we have seen several anti-trafficking laws change or become stronger in favor of the trafficking victim in Nepal. Partners also function as a network between Nepali law enforcement, judicial agencies and anti-trafficking organizations by providing training from judicial and law enforcement specialists from the U.S. Our Daughters in country partners are a member of the of National Executive Committee of AATWIN (Alliance Against Trafficking of Women & Children in Nepal) since 2015, a network of 40 anti-trafficking organizations.
Man-Up Defenders Groups
Our Daughters International works with our Nepal partners to form Man-Up Defender groups in the communities of restored daughters. These groups prepare the males of the community to be “real men” who will fight against human trafficking and gender-based violence. The men in these groups value the women in their lives and work to elevate the status of women in their communities. They are helping eradicate human trafficking by influencing the patriarchal society of Nepal which devalues girls and women and is one of the root causes of trafficking.
To ensure our daughters are not vulnerable to being trafficked again, during their 6-9 month stay in the training center they are taught a job skill which enables them to establish their own micro-business. This business will provide them with a sustainable income. They are also instructed on how to become an anti-trafficking advocate so as they return home, they can help protect others from the same fate.
Each daughter that moves back into their community is provided seed money for their micro-business. They also receive mentoring from a network of regional community leaders. The daughters establish their business as a team of three which helps them overcome challenges they may face. Types of businesses that are started include tailoring/sewing, beauty salon & barber shop, cafés, marts & grocery and more.
Social Leadership School
The School of Social Leadership is developing select daughters in leadership skills such as public speaking, professionalism and societal understanding. These daughters will engage public officials and others with public testimony about trafficking in Nepal and encourage action to combat it.