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ILO, DFID cooperate to protect girls and women from modern-day slavery

( ILO ) - The UK's Department for International Development and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) launched last month a major new project to help prevent 100,000 girls and women across South Asia from falling victim to labour trafficking.




The UK Government is investing £9.75 million over five years into the Work in Freedom initiative 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. Around 21 million people are trafficked and in forced labour worldwide, the majority are from Asia with women and girls most affected. 


Every year millions of men and women 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. But many end-up being deceived and trafficked into jobs with extremely low wages or don't get paid at all, their movement is restricted, their living and working conditions are very poor, and they often suffer physical and sexual abuse. 


The programme will reach tens of thousands of women and girls and aims to:

  • Provide 50,000 women with skills and pre-departure training and other support to help them avoid being trafficked and secure a legal contract and decent wage;
  • Help 30,000 women achieve greater economic empowerment so they are better able to support themselves and their families. This will be done through helping women understand their rights, enable them to organize collectively and vocational training to help ensure access to decent work opportunities in destination countries;
  • Help thousands more migrant women to avoid paying extortionate, illegal recruitment fees by cracking down on unscrupulous recruitment practices and encouraging recruitment agencies to sign-up to ethical principles and practices; and
  • Prevent child labour by helping thousands of girls under 16 years to stay in school, so they aren't compelled to migrate for work.