Fighting rural forced and bonded labour

Out of the 40 million victims of modern slavery worldwide, almost two thirds are in Asia and the Pacific. In Bangladesh and India, the practice of bonded labour is widespread in rural areas where the workforce relies on verbal arrangements for wages and is subject to exploitation by unscrupulous landlords.


Gopal works in his shop in Varanasi, India (image from another Traidcraft Exchange project). Credit: Traidcraft Exchange/Allison Joyce


We are working to rescue and rehabilitate men, women and children from work under debt bondage and forced labour conditions in northern Bangladesh and Madhya Pradesh, India. The project will create alternate avenues of income generation and establish people’s institutions that will focus on preventing exploitation.

Project name: Muktee – Fighting Forced Labour with Adivasi and Dalit Communities in South Asia

Where are we working? Tanore and Nachole districts of Northern Bangladesh; Dhar, Alirajpur, Ujjain and Mandsour districts of Madhya Pradesh, India

How long for? 2 years (January 2019 – December 2021)

Who is benefiting? 8,000 Adivasi and Dalit men and women

Project aims:

  • To establish effective response mechanisms to identify, rescue and rehabilitate victims, ensuring their access to rights, entitlements and education

  • To support duty-bearers to work together effectively to implement laws and policies regarding labour rights, children's rights and social security entitlements

  • To ensure that liberated workers and at-risk populations benefit from improved economic opportunities and increased incomes

  • To share best practice on addressing systemic and structural vulnerabilities across the two target countries

Who are we working with? The project is funded by the European Commission. 


For more information about this project, please contact

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