Registration Cards Contributing to Safer Migration in India
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 8:53 AM

Each year, thousands of girls and young women from the Indo-Bangla border villages move to urban areas upon promises of good jobs or the prospects of marriage. However, instead of the employment they were promised, many will be subject to abuse and sexual exploitation. The girls are often easy prey, as most are lacking proper personal identification documentation and accurate contact information for their intended destination.

A number of NGOs have responded to this crisis. The Kolkata-based Jabala launched the Safe Migration Project in 2006 to prevent the exploitation of girls and young women who migrate. Jabala encourages people to register their names with the NGO's office in their district or at their local panchyat (village council). Every person who registers with Jabala is provided with a Safe Migration Card that lists police helpline numbers for both their place of origin and their intended destination. Once an individual in trouble contacts the police, the registration card helps the authorities to contact the NGO and Jabala works to ensure the young woman returns home safely.

According to Jabala, over 5,000 Safe Migration Cards have been issued, and 47 girls have been successfully rescued and restored to their families.

For the full text of this article, please click here.

Compiled from:  Kalpana Pradhan, India: Register for a Better Life, Women's Feature Service (February 2009); India - Safe Migration Program/Cards, Women's UN Report Network (WUNRN).