Survivor Workforce Development: Nomi Network partnership brings trafficking survivors into safe and sustainable jobs
September 28, 2020
In collaboration with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), GFEMS has partnered with Nomi Network to reduce the prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and strengthen long-term economic opportunities for survivors of and women vulnerable to CSE in West Bengal, India.
Nomi Network is a US-based organization that, in partnership with both local organizations in source communities and an extensive network of private sector job placement partners, provides job training and employment opportunities for women vulnerable to CSE in India and Cambodia. In India, Nomi Network currently operates a unique Workforce Development Program (WPD) in collaboration with its field partners in seven locations. With GFEMS funding, Nomi Network will redouble support to two of these local partners in West Bengal, supporting hundreds of new and existing trainees in the WPD and, in the process, establish nearly 500 job placements.
In West Bengal, a lack of stable job opportunities forces many women, especially those in vulnerable communities, to leave school seeking income to support their families. This financial instability leaves many women at high risk of falling into forced labor or CSE. West Bengal is also home to India’s second-largest population of individuals in the Scheduled Castes, who are subject to socio-economic discrimination and, therefore, heightened vulnerability, as well as a sizable population of Nepalese-Indians who are similarly discriminated against.
Nomi Network’s Workforce Development Program addresses these drivers by training women in a combination of life and technical skills training, culminating in job placements and one year of high-touch follow up. The program equips women with skills to meet market demand, places them in jobs that generate long-term income stability, and provides individualized support to reduce risk of re-trafficking or exploitation. Nomi Network’s approach tailors skills training to the market needs in each community to ensure participants are trained in jobs that fill a tangible gap. High-achieving graduates are hired to teach new cohorts of trainees, serving as local role models and deepening community involvement. The program is also trauma-informed, supporting the recovery process for survivors of CSE and helping build their self-advocacy and leadership skills.
By ensuring that WDP participants have a safe and secure economic future, Nomi Network works to permanently reduce vulnerability to CSE and further develop a successful model that is both scalable and replicable.
GFEMS looks forward to sharing the successes and lessons learned from our work with Nomi Network. Learn more about the Norad partnership and the GFEMS portfolio.
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