A Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) programme


Challenges in the context:

In India, one child disappears in every eight minutes. What happens to these children? A number of them are trafficked, sold off and enslaved, for sexual exploitation and forced labour. While a fraction of them are rescued by law enforcement, even after that, their challenges don’t end.

The survivors are locked up in shelter homes, Isolated from the outer world, these survivors receive ineffective vocational training and poor counselling. Inside these boundaries, they can’t even reach out to a lawyer to appeal against their forced detention. When the survivors return home from these institutions, they are left to fight poverty and stigma on their own.

SHAKTI: An alternative

Sanjog’s initiative in collaboration with Partners in Anti Trafficking and BBSS in West Bengal, Shakti,is a community-based rehabilitation programme for survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation that enables survivors claim rehabilitation in a free setting in a community, instead of a locked shelter home. It enables survivors to assimilate in their families, in a community, with freedom, guidance and assistance to fight poverty and overcome social stigma. CBR does not treat a survivor as a helpless victim who is dependent at every stage of recovery. It respects their potential to make their own decisions and shape their future despite the hardships.

The innovative shifts in this approach are

  • From custodial TO restorative care
  • From welfare & charity TO claiming ones rights and building accountability
  • From data to meet targets TO data to empower
  • From NGO led TO Survivor – centric processes which are trauma informed
  • And so from a simplistic TO an intelligent technologically responsive case management model for community based rehabilitation

How does Shakti work?

  1. Assistance to return home/ create one’s own home
  2. Support to defend oneself against stigma and shaming in the family and community
  3. Claim rehabilitation services from duty bearers in government & public service offices
  4. Access legal services for compensation & find legal defence against traffickers
  5. Builds financial independence & confidence
  6. Builds evidence using modern technology to strengthen systemic Accountability amongst dutybearers
  7. Informs & improves policy implementation

Is Shakti about Rehabilitation? Or more? The IMPACT.

Every survivor who has been served well by the system and has found justice becomes an empowered leader, for whom combating human trafficking becomes a personal cause.

Shakti leads to empowered Panchayats, politicians, administrators, health workers, police and lawyers who become more efficient in implementing anti trafficking policies.

It finally leads to prevention of human trafficking and ending modern day slavery

Technology and Shakti:

Shakti has created technology for beneficiaries of the programme – survivors of trafficking – to evaluate performance of all service providers and duty bearers, from social workers, to Panchayat Members, Block Development Officers, health workers and hospitals. It is their evaluation of services received and their experience of interface that tells us performance rating of different stakeholders in the eco system. MIS reports generated from this data also indicates good practices, innovations and better performers and informs how to incentivize leadership.

Why Shakti?

Its effective for rehabilitation of survivors in

Its Cost efficient as compared to huge budgets to run shelter homes

Its Replicable since its logical in its technology and integrated design and not creating new structures

Its Innovative since it directly leads to survivors’ leadership and resilient communities

Its Relevant for India today fighting against human trafficking and children and women forced in closed shelters


in collaboration with Partners for Anti-Trafficking and Birangana Seva Samity, in West Bengal

Download Shakti Annual Report.

Freedom Communities | Community Based Rehabilitation Programmes for Survivors of Trafficking

Sanjog is very pleased to share with the ecosystem this report of an Exploratory Analyses on Community Based Rehabilitation Programmes for Survivors of Trafficking, titled “Freedom Communities”.

This study aims to understand the trends in rehabilitation of survivors of trafficking and sexual violence, what is working, what is not, and what could be possible approaches that can be adopted to address survivors’ right to rehabilitation by NGOs, Philanthropists and State.

The findings from this study are indicative of the need for a robust system for community based rehabilitation.

Download the report