When was the project initiated? or When are you planning to begin?
The Meghalaya Model was introduced in mid 2000 by Impulse after it came apparent to the team that due to the new Indian legislation of the reduction of the use of logging it caused an economic crisis in the North East region of India.This economic crisis created a large migration of young children to cities looking for employment opportunities. It also created a high risk of human trafficking of children and young women who are most often affected by economic crises. Usually they are duped into hypothetical job opportunities else where and end up in bondage or sexual labor. After cases of missing persons started to be reported Impulse intervened which led to a need based initiative called the Meghalaya Model which seeks to prevent and intervene on human trafficking in several ways that include: networking with all stakeholders (government agencies, NGO's, and CBO's), training law enforcement, partner with the media for awareness building, educated, sensitize, and advocate about the issue. One of the outcomes of this model was a case information center created to track and follow-up on all cases of the North East to better rescue, rehabilitate, and repatriate victims of trafficking.
What kind of beneficiaries is your initiative addressed to?
Women, Girls, Youth, Society in general, Media.
Describe the profile of the beneficiaries of this project
First and for most it would benefit all children and young women who are at risk of being trafficked as well as rescuing and securing those that have already become victim of it. These children and young women come from all over the North East states of India and are subject to coercion from traffickers seeking to take advantage of them. They come from low and middle class families where they get trapped into the traffickers methods of duping the family and their children by promising the children job and education opportunities in far off cities. Installing a database software system that follows the format of the Impulse Information Center will allow a more thorough and broad ranging approach to securing victims of trafficking a safe return, as well as insuring a more secure future for all children and women. The program will make it easier and faster to track down victims families by relying information quickly to various stakeholders in order to find family members. At the moment the lack of such a system makes tracking an obstacle for all stakeholders leaving an in cohesive amount of centralized information for any kind of better intervention.
What is your initiative’s implementation strategy?
In order to create and implement an idea of a software system that keeps track of all data recorded and collected of missing persons and trafficked victims there needs to be seed money and a connection with a computer company. Through proposal writing to various companies utilizing their CSR money will enable Impulse to implement a software program. Since there is already a system set-up called Impulse Information Center that tracks cases the software program would just scale up the current efforts and make a more long-term workable method. The Information Center is already currently operating but the number of reported trafficking cases has increased making it hard for the current system to handle the amount. After such a software program is created and in place all data will be transferred to this system that will be easily accessible to all agencies involved in human trafficking in the North East of India as well as other parts of the country. Part of the proposal writing would be to train and teach all stakeholders about the software program in order for it to be swiftly implemented and understood. Also, the program would be linked to the police websites in all eight states of the North East in ensuring data and information to be relied in a timely fashion. Impulse would be the nodal agency in training all stakeholders of the program and to follow-up on it's successful implementation. Once the system is in place by using CSR contributions this will ensure permanency of the system of assisting victims of trafficking that can be picked up by anyone including the government and other countries.
In your opinion, what are the main barriers or obstacles in connection with this theme?
The current barriers that make an Information sharing software system difficult is the lack of good communication (i.e. internet) in the remote parts of the North East and its many borders. This makes it hard to reach and rely information to partners in these areas where there a lot of reported missing child cases suspect of trafficking. Instead of the current system where the remote areas have little communication via phone it would benefit the local partners in better communication through an established system. Also, not all state partners are equipped to handle such a system or know how to put a proper case file in order to make sure all information is collected on the case. Some of these partner organizations are not hoistically based on its efforts of preventing trafficking but project oriented making it difficult to see long-term effects and sustainability.
What type of partnerships you have or intend to generate strategic alliances with for the development of this initiative? Choose all that apply
State departments or areas, International organizations, Non-Government organizations, Private companies, Social organizations, Universities.
Describe with whom you have generated these alliances and how
Impulse has worked with state governments by trying to utilize the resources that are already available from the state. For example, there are several laws in place protecting the rights of children but the government has slacked on implementing the laws and persecuting those that break the laws against children. Combining these laws can greatly impact the ways in which child trafficking cases are handled, and it would also tap into financial resources that the state is obligated to use on children and women. Also, Impulse has gained a relationship with law enforcement agencies to train, sensitize, and educate law enforcer on child trafficking in their target areas. These law enforcers would be huge users of an Information Software system to track and intervene on any of their findings. International organizations have been an alliance of Impulses through its technical support and assistance in running and making its programs innovative. A major part of Impulse's work is networking and working with partner NGO's in the North Eastern states to prevent, protect, police, and persecute human traffickers. Impulse has already established a network of organizations that work under this motto and all would participate and intervene from an Information Software system. The private companies Impulse have created relationships with have contributed to preventing re-trafficking of rescued cases by funding micro-finance programs giving women the opportunity to establish and run their own businesses. And social organizations work with Impulse to implement the micro-finance programs delegating the programs to local partners in all states in the North East, Impulse acting as a nodal agency facilitating all activities. The private companies that Impulse have made a connection with we hope to utilize their CSR to create a software program as well as contributing funds to the local communities these businesses gain profit from. Lastly, Impulse has worked with universities in various ways including free education programs for rescued cases, networking, and training students as volunteers.
What are the main results generated and/or expected to generate by means of this initiative?
By creating a software system for the Impulse Information Center will revolutionize the means of communication between all stakeholders as well as strengthen and enhance the amount of cases that can be handled. The current system is not equipped to handle the amount of reported cases that are coming into Impulse and a software system would generate huge results by it allowing agencies to contact each other more swiftly when there are missing cases reported. It will decrease the time spend on communicating cases between law enforcement and partner NGOs. This would increase the rate of children and women that are rescued as well as being able to better rehabilitate and follow-up on all cases. Another outcome of a software system would be its longevity and capability for the government or any other agency to replicate it in Southeast Asia to assist their efforts in intervening and preventing human trafficking. Having a software system also gives the state and federal government more responsibility to take action and implement its laws in regards to child rights. Another huge result a system would generate is the amount of statistics that the software system could produce and keep track of the trends of human trafficking in different areas around the North East. Currently there is no centralized way of documenting cases which increases the lapse of time on intervening on cases but introducing this recording method would speed up intervention and follow-up. The software system would also be able to track where agencies need to upgrade their efforts whether it is rehabilitation or reporting of missing children, it will generate more efficient partner organizations. The system can act as a needs based reporting and intervention system of identifying what areas of the state government need to be upgraded and help in their budget planning.
What is the main impact that your initiative might generate?
The largest impact that would be generated from a Information software system incorporating the Impulse Information Center is the increased amount of human trafficking cases that will be rescued, rehabilitated, and repatriated in the North East. It will increase the efforts that have already been implemented by the Information Center and create more awareness of the issue. The new system will be reliable, quick, and efficient for partnering organizations. With the increase of the cases reported and the efficiency of the program it will create a larger database of traffickers that will enable law enforcement to persecute and capture more of them. It will also ensure that rescued cases will not be re-trafficked as this is a large issue. Having a system will keep track of the history of each case so rescued cases won't be victimized by enduring repeated questioning. Also, there will be a large increase in the crime record in the country to ensure that children and women are not trafficked again. This will centralize the issue that will promote a better understanding of the problems around human trafficking.