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INTRODUCTION

Freeset has been working to free women trafficked into in the Sonagacchi red-light district of Kolkata for 17 years. They have found that the Murshidabad district of West Bengal is a particular source area for women being trafficked. The reason for this is poverty, with over 60% living below the Indian poverty line. Poverty provides the opportunity for traffickers, who promise women good jobs in the city, but when they get to the city the women are forced into prostitution. The project establishes business units in the district, providing employment opportunities for at-risk women.

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AIMS

The project goal is “Healthy, stable, economically sound communities that do not need to send their daughters to the city for employment.” This will be achieved through: A Business Incubator programme to establish 5 new business units around the district, employing 250+ women. A training programme to equip women with employment, management and entrepreneurial skills for business. A social services programme will support the women with health and counselling services. A trafficking awareness programme will make communities aware of the risks of sending their daughters to the city for employment.

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PROJECT PARTNERS

The primary partners in this project are Banzaid, Marketplacers, and the Freeset group of companies already working in Kolkata. The Freeset Business Incubator will set up the new business units, and provide legal, financial and property services. The Freeset Trust will provide counselling and health support services. Community trafficking awareness will be run by Justice Ventures International (JVI).

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ABOUT WEST BENGAL

Murshidabad is one of 17 districts that make up the state of West Bengal in the north-eastern corner of India. According to the Human development index, Murshidabad is ranked 15th out of the 17 districts in West Bengal. It is the ninth most populated district in India. Most people live in rural villages where around 60% are surviving under the poverty line

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FUNDING SOURCES

This project gets dollar for dollar support from the Aid Programme of the New Zealand Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Every dollar donated gets a further dollar from the Aid Programme.

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WHAT YOUR DONATION SUPPORTS

Your donation enables the setup of the business units with the equipment that they need, and the training and support of the women who are offered employment.

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