TIP Award Year:
Bhanuja Sharan Lal is the director of an organization called Manav Sansadhan Evam Mahila Vikas Sansthan (MSEMVS). They have over 75 staff who relentlessly pursue the systematic eradication of slavery from Northern India. Recognizing the roots of slave-like practices, they have begun organizing at the community level in order to change the way people think. They form Community Vigilance Communities, led by survivors who put pressure on local police and work to change local attitudes. The organization also assists in rescue operations, helping to free 65 people a month from modern slavery. In connection with their rescue efforts, they have a shelter which provides residential and other services to survivors, and they help others reintegrate into the communities in which they live. Largely due to their efforts, over 130 villages in Northern India have almost entirely eradicated modern slavery from within their communities. Mr. Lal has pursued each of these goals, and also focused on child labor. Forming community-based informal schools, he has helped over 500 children who have survived modern slavery who have caught up on their education and entered the public school system. The program at these schools is meant to take three years, and they can open and close as is necessary, remaining valuable resources for children who are brought out of forced labor situations. In 2014, he was honored as a "TIP Report Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery" in recognition of his efforts to combat human trafficking.
In the 2014 TIP Report, India was listed as a Tier 2 country. It is a source, destination, and transit country. Although there is some sex trafficking, bonded labor and forced labor constitute India’s greatest problem. Fueled by historic and cultural class divides, including the mistreatment of the scheduled castes, ninety percent of trafficking occurs within India’s borders.