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Bangalore, India

Fighting Modern Slavery

Millions of children, women and men are being enslaved, degraded and silenced
across India today—and IJM cannot rescue them alone.

When we first began work in India, slavery seemed hidden.

Many people told us they didn’t believe it still existed in the country, and those who were aware of it didn’t have hope that anything could change. While India has strong laws against both sex trafficking and forced labor, historically, these anti-slavery laws have not been enforced, and traffickers and slave owners have exploited children, women and men with impunity.

But the scales are starting to tip toward justice—and, every day, we are seeing proof that makes us more confident that slavery in India can end within our lifetime.


We rescue children and families by identifying factories, farms and businesses where they are trapped as forced labor slaves. We partner with government officials and police to enter the worksite, conduct interviews, and ensure each victim is legally emancipated under the law.


We bring criminals to justice. We begin by advising officials on how to file protection reports that will keep families safe from an owner's threats. We help public prosecutors press charges and pursue justice in local courts by collecting evidence, researching laws and legal precedent, and helping survivors prepare to share the truth.


We restore survivors by providing a two-year aftercare program developed by IJM social workers. We begin with Freedom Training, a three-day series of seminars and life skills training. Social workers then provide counseling, facilitate monthly group meetings, visit survivors in their homes, and help families achieve their goals (like opening a bank account or buying a house). We help adults pursue dignifying jobs and ensure children can enroll in school.


We strengthen justice systems by providing hands-on mentoring and training government officials combating forced labor slavery.

Our Progress

“From my work on the frontlines, I can see the momentum for change building. I believe we are facing a very unique window of opportunity in India to make lasting change; to redirect the course of history. We can be the generation that ends slavery in India once and for all.”

Saju Mathew IJM Vice President of Programs, South Asia

Since 2000, IJM and our trained partners have secured freedom for more than 20,000 survivors of forced labor—and more than 1,000 survivors of sex trafficking. Thousands of former slaves have participated in IJM’s aftercare program since 2006.

We have provided training to nearly 89,000 Indian officials, and are seeing them respond with unprecedented mass enforcement actions against forced labor slavery on their own initiative. This is what will make the fight against slavery sustainable.

Our innovative two-year aftercare program for former slaves begins with a Freedom Training, where participants learn the basics of life in freedom—from opening a bank account to building healthy families—and includes seminars, one-on-one meetings and community support groups. We are now training partners to replicate our successful model, which has expanded our impact across the country.

Our Team in Bangalore

Bangalore, India

Field Office Director: Indrajeet Pawar
Established: 2006
Focus: Forced Labor Slavery

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