THREADS OF FREEDOM IS A HYBRID-NON-PROFIT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE WORKING TO REHABILITATE AND RE-INTEGRATE VICTIMS OF SEX-TRAFFICKING
What big bet are they making?
Threads of Freedom (ToF) rehabilitates and empowers sex trafficking victims by providing employment, medical care and counselling. ToF is a hybrid-non-profit social enterprise working to rehabilitate and reintegrate victims of sex trafficking and those at high risk of becoming victims. ToF works closely with the government, garment manufactures, fashion brands, and rescue centers to identify and rescue victims and provide jobs. The individuals are hired within the garment and apparel manufacturing sector, on equal terms with other employees, giving them job security and specialization. As part of the program, ToF offers accommodation, counseling, food, medical care, confidentiality, and training.
What challenge is the big bet solving?
Trafficking of women is a major problem in India with an estimated 18 million people living in slavery according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index. Victims of trafficking are marginalized and stigmatized, and often lack confidence and skills to reintegrate into society. Often they are spurned by their families and judged by the labor market, making it extremely difficult to start a new life. ToF provides jobs to enable stigmatized women to sustain themselves.
How is the Big Bet innovative?
ToF is built on creative partnerships by utilizing a creative win-win-win mechanism: Orders received from fashion brands are placed with partner factories as incentive to hire more trafficking victims. In this way, ToF’s candidates get jobs, manufacturers get orders, and fashion brands gain a positive narrative around how their products are helping survivors of trafficking.
What is the current situation?
ToF is currently facilitating employment to 45 survivors in the Bangalore area, and is currently starting its operation in Mumbai with an expected initial batch of 90 candidates. Moreover, they are assessing the potential of expanding to major cities across India, including Delhi, Kolkata, and Hyderabad, and to cities like Dhakka and Pnom Phen with high incidence of trafficking.