Fighting Human Trafficking: GDN funds Innovative Development Projects

This is a cross-post based on GDN’s Feature Story, “Fighting Human Trafficking: GDN funds Innovative Development Projects”. The post is based on the GDN 13th Annual Conference Awards and Medals Competition 2nd place winner, Hasina Kharbhih, for the work of ‘Impulse NGO Network‘.

Hasina Kharbhih, Team Leader, Impulse NGO Network receiving GDN Award

Hasina Kharbhih, Team Leader, Impulse NGO Network receiving GDN Award

Researcher capacity building is clearly driven by the importance of communication in bridging research and policy. Our Research Communication Training Workshops are thus an integral pre-conference activity, conducted by GDNet  Research Communication Training facilitation team in collaboration with CommsConsult, that helps researchers better present their research to create a bigger impact with their ideas.  Last year’s GDN awarded winner Hasina Kharbhih sets an example for effective  engagement of policymakers in  creating an impact with research. Her research team utilized a range of communications tools to support the research and help ensure wider impact. This included publishing a formal research report that presents the research findings, in addition to conducting a press release to involve the media and engage Indian government stakeholders in discussions of the findings.

To provide a long lasting, holistic solution to the rampant human trafficking problem, Impulse has created the Meghalaya Model which not only rescues, rehabilitates and reintegrates victims of human trafficking, but also oversees prosecution of the traffickers and raises awareness to prevent human trafficking. What makes the Model special is its ability to get various stakeholders involved. “We understand that the issue of human trafficking is too big to be handled only by a few NGOs. The government agencies and other stakeholders have to be involved,” says Hasina Kharbhih, the Team Leader of Impulse. The Model brings together civil society, NGOs, media, educational institutions, government departments, judiciary, law enforcement, and Border Security Forces (BSF) to collectively fight against the problem.

Interested to learn more about the Meghalaya Model and the experience of Impulse NGO Network? Watch our interview with Hasina.

As part of GDNet’s Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, a panel was held prior to the GDN Conference where a few rigorous, robust and representative cases of knowledge into use in the policy process were selected. Hasina’s case was chosen as one of the Most Significant Cases where a number of interesting policy influencing factors arise.

This year, the GDN 14th Annual Global Development Conference on Inequality, Social Protection and Inclusive Growth will be held on June 19-21, 2013 at the Asian Development Bank Headquarters in Manila, Philippines.

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Download full Conference Note here!

Meghalaya Model to fight against human trafficking

Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. It means the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs. The legal end of slavery only pushed it under the ground – making the modern slaves invisible.

Meghalaya Model is a comprehensive approach to address human trafficking from different angles, engaging stakeholders to work in a collaborative network, connected by Impulse Case Info Center. Hasina Kharbhi, finalist in the 2011 Global Development Awards Competition – Japanese Award for the Most Innovative Development Project (MIDP), presented this initiative at the GDN 13th Annual Conference. In this video, Hasina introduces the project and what it aims to achieve.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGumbdKVcnI&w=420&h=315]

Meghalaya Model is designed to track and rescue trafficked children; to facilitate rehabilitation, making sure that survivors will not get re-trafficked; provide families with livelihood alternatives; to prosecute offenders; to create new policies making the fight against human trafficking always more efficient; and to raise awareness, also through media, preventing human trafficking all together. These activities translate to the pillars of Meghalaya Model, which are the five “Ps” Prevention, Protection, Policing, Press and Prosecution. The process of Meghalaya Model is Reporting, Rescue, Rehabilitation, Repatriation and Re-education.

Through a collaborative, far-reaching network children are more likely to be recovered, traffickers will face prosecution and survivors will have better access to rehabilitation. To make the collaboration more coordinated and proficient between the stakeholders, Impulse established Case Information Centre. It is a one of a kind database to collect all the information about human trafficking cases reported to Impulse or to its partners. Impulse Case Info Center has facilitated over 2000 (and counting) rescue operations of human trafficking victims – none of the survivors have been re-trafficked.

Before the invention of the Meghalaya Model there was no other workable system in order to combat human trafficking in the Northeast of India in a holistic network approach. Now the Model is replicated in all the 8 states of Northeast India bringing together Government and Police Departments to address the issue of human trafficking collectively.