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Fighting Forced Labor and Modern Slavery with Minor Ethnic Communities in South Asia

Organized by: Traidcraft

Image by Safal Karki


Traidcraft Exchange (TX) is the charitable arm of the British organisation, Traidcraft PLC. Established in 1986, For more than 30 years, TX has been fighting poverty through trade, believing in the positive and transformational potential of trade to bring hope to millions trapped in poverty. Since 2004, TX has touched the lives of half a million people living in poverty by playing a key role as catalyst and convener, encouraging different actors to work together to develop approaches that lead to inclusive economic growth. “Fighting forced labour with Adivasi and Dalit communities in South Asia (MUKTEE) Project” is designed by TX for betterment of the marginalised population groups, known as Adivasis, to address their systemic and structural vulnerabilities leading into forced, bonded and child labour. Funded by European Union, the project is being implemented in four districts in Madhya Pradesh, India and two districts in northern part of Bangladesh. For the Bangladesh part, TX Bangladesh country office is leading the implementation. Project targeted 2,059 households (4000 members) from Adivasi communities in Rajshahi and Chapai Nawabganj district who are living in flatlands of northern part of Bangladesh for generations deprived of basic human rights.


Session Description


TX is proposing to participate in the forum through arranging a side event. The flow of the event will be as follows:

  • TX will share the current situation of forced and bonded labour in their intervened areas before and after the execution of the project. TX also plans to highlight areas in which social mobilisation has been successfully implemented by ensuring protection and presentation of rights for affected Adivasi communities.

  • TX will assess policy and governance issues, identify gaps and suggest reforms with respect to access of Adivasi peoples of Bangladesh to rights and entitlements, particularly in terms of basic public services in association with a Human Rights Specialist and accumulate findings in a Policy Paper format for knowledge dissemination. TX plans to inaugurate and present the paper in this forum.

  • TX will share ‘even better if’ situational requirements based on the findings from our ongoing MUKTEE project review reports.


Session Objectives


The key objectives of this session are to:

  • To share the current state of affairs in regard to ethnically minor community’s current working conditions, level of ethnic discrimination and access to basic rights, entitlements and education.

  • To understand the deep structural issues and challenges identified through Project MUKTEE and highlight way forward to resolve and create inclusion of rights and services for Indigenous people.

Expected outcome

To highlight the root causes of bonded labor which mostly are prejudice and persecution, social marginalization, racism, social exclusion and discrimination. This event is planned to bring out additional issues responsible for forced labor and also create awareness to ensure minor ethnic groups are not excluded from accessing their rights like equal access to education and health services, economic political and social rights and basic constitutional human rights.


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