There is a tall wall, topped with barbed wire at one the best shelters in Calcutta for human trafficking survivors. Many visitors have asked why they need to keep the human trafficking survivors behind a wall. Show up at night and you will see why. Traffickers gather outside the wall, tossing notes and even cell phones over to the young women.
Why does this even work? You would think no one would want to go back to being sold, but human beings who have been though hardships can make strange and destructive decisions. I'm sure you know teenagers in your area that have made horrible choices, and survivors are no different than those teens.
Human trafficking survivors could become victims of trafficking or abuse again because:
- Low sense of self worth
- Unhealthy attachment to trafficker
- Unaccepted or outcast from family/village
- No income to support self or family after leaving shelter
- Lack of skills or education to become employable
- Unable to heal from trauma of slavery
Once a person has been rescued from slavery the process of restoration begins, but it’s a long process and can have ups and downs that lead to re-trafficking. Restoration is a long term investment in a survivor to help him/her cope with the trauma and ensure his/her future. Working towards a future is important to protect against recidivism.
Some efforts to secure a human trafficking survivor’s future include:
- A job with a fair wage
- Regular appointments or group therapy with a mental health therapist
- Providing opportunities and space for survivors to process things that happened to them
- Physical and dental exams and corrective surgeries and procedures to heal
- Formal education in reading, writing, and math
- Vocational training
- Safe living arrangements
- Opportunity to create and express through art and music
Made By Survivors partners with 15 programs worldwide to reduce recidivism for survivors is providing education, vocational training, and employment for f human trafficking survivors. Survivors in our programs show marked improvement in self esteem, confidence, initiative, and job readiness. Made By Survivors is working to ensure survivors are free forever. We are particularly proud of the Made By Survivors Jewelry Centers in Kolkata and Mumbai, India where former sex slaves are becoming goldsmiths, a profitable career in India.
This fall Made By Survivors will be launching a campaign to raise awareness and funds for projects to reduce recidivism in human trafficking survivors. Join the mailing list for updates on the project.