Since 1988, Jeevika Free has worked to eradicate bonded labor in Karnataka, India, by freeing, educating, and training slaves who work on rural farms. These slaves are almost always trapped in debt bondage - they once took a loan from a wealthy landowner that can only be repaid through excruciating work. While bonded labor was officially abolished in India in the 1970s, cases persist because people are unaware of the laws, and convictions remain rare.
Jeevika Free continuously advocates at the state and national level for the enforcement of anti-slavery laws. At the same time, they work in villages to raise awareness of the laws, promote education, as well as teach people how to manage their finances - effectively breaking the cycle of bonded labor. As of mid-2019, 7,303 women and men across Karnataka were part of savings and credit self-help groups set up with the support of Jeevika Free. Since its inception, Jeevika Free helped free over 30,000 women and men.
Bonded laborers were officially released from slavery
Vocational and skill trainings were organized at the community level
Government officials were trained by Jeevika Free on enforcing anti-slavery laws