MULTILATERAL NETWORKING: SANLAAP has networked with the following organisations to put an end to trafficking:

·        End Child prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking (ECPAT)

·        Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW)

·        Action Against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children (ATSEC)

·        National Alliance of Women’s Organisations (NAWO)

·        Maitree(A state feminist network)

·        NGO-AIDS Coalition(West Bengal)

SUCCESSFUL EXAMPLES: It has organised a national seminar on Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children.

SOURCES OF FUNDING: State Social Welfare Board; Government of India; Save The Children, Denmark; EED; ICCO; Christian Aid and European Embassies. 

GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS OF OPERATION: Murshidabad, Nadia, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar, north and south 24 parganas and Kolkata districts of West Bengal.


Sanlaap is a developmental human rights organisation that aims towards correction of gender imbalance, prevention of violence and exploitation of women and children and facilitation of the empowerment of survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Sanlaap strives to prevent trafficking, second generation prostitution and the violence that is inherent in such professions. 

Campaign, Awareness, Training and Networking 

The NGO conducts seminars, workshops and media campaigns to generate awareness amongst the vulnerable groups. It also distributes IED materials for awareness generation, undertakes advocacy through networking with NGOs and police officials and conducts sensitisation programmes for Government officials.

In order to prevent trafficking, the NGO undertakes gender sensitisation programmes and community mobilization programmes in the vulnerable communities.

Sanlaap has networked with Police Department /CID and Government officials who are provided necessary information and feed back by the volunteers of this organisation working in the red light areas. It has formed watchdog committees. To deter the traffickers, the organisation, with the help of police, undertakes vigorous interception operations at the vulnerable locations.

Rescue of children and those who are being forced to work in prostitution, is either undertaken directly or with the collaboration of police. The organisation runs a Short Stay Home and Observation Home (details about these homes have not been furnished by the organisation) where vocational training is imparted in embroidery, block printing, silk cotton weaving, garment designing and beauty parlour training for the rehabilitation of the inhabitants. If the addresses of the victims are known, then efforts are made to reunite them with their families.

Through its direct work in rescuing trafficked girls, Sanlaap has identified major source areas of girls trafficked into sexual exploitation. The NGO started its work from these sites. These 3 sites are:


1. Matia: Matia Baazaar – a red light area, with a population of over 400 women engaged in prostitution – lies in the Barasat-Basirhat connector. Apart from being a source area from where girls are trafficked to Mumbai, Delhi and other parts of the country, this is a transit route for trafficked girls from Bangladesh through the Bashirhat and Hasnabad border.


 2. Canning: This small town in South 24 Paraganas is heavily affected by a lack of economic activities. This has contributed to this place being not just the source of trafficking, but also the busiest route of trafficked victims. Women and children are trafficked from Bangladesh through the waterways in the Sunderban delta.


3. Kultoli: Every second to third household in Madhusudanpur, Kultoli, has a daughter or a daughter-in-law, trafficked into prostitution in the red light areas of Kolkata or Mumbai.


The Strategy Adopted by Sanlaap

Sanlaap interwove three lines of work – training, advocacy and networking, with a prevention strategy. The NGO networked with the Panchayat Leaders, people’s organisations and the police in the areas where trafficking of children was in vogue due to poverty and/or cultural practices. Such networking was operationalized through dialogues and training with those groups on gender-sensitivity, forms and patterns of trafficking and procedures by which to respond to potential cases of trafficking.

Youth groups, who acted as pressure groups, were particularly targeted for the development of advocates among them. An infrastructure of organised communities was developed who acted as watchdogs to prevent the entry of women into prostitution.

Awareness in the communities was created through information materials that alerted the families to issues related to trafficking and sexual exploitation as well as to the concepts regarding violations of the human rights of women and children.         

In 2000-2001, “Sanlaap” has received and provided services to over 300 children and minors who were rescued from prostitution. 40%of them were HIV- positive.     

Apart from the above-mentioned activities Sanlaap supports child protection programmes for children of women in prostitution in 14 red light areas of Kolkata and its outskirts. The 14 drop-in centres named “Sopan” provide a safe space for these children, providing services to ensure that they receive education. Sanlaap takes custody of some of these children, particularly those at risk, and they are moved to Sneha, another NGO at Jhargram and Narendrapur (Kolkata) for special protection.

The organisation runs a psychological rehabilitation program for children rescued from prostitution, providing services in mental health, occupational training and legal aid to facilitate rescue, repatriation or restoration after release from State custody. Sanlaap runs two shelter homes, as well as running  interventions in the State run Remand Homes in West Bengal, the focus of which are on healing and empowerment of girls, emotionally, economically and psychologically; repatriation and restoration; economic empowerment through occupational training and education.


No data related to the victims in the Shelter Homes is maintained by the NGO. They said that maintaining data takes too much time.

  Sanlaap has networked with the NGOs of Nepal such as Maiti Nepal and Bangladesh for the prevention of cross-border trafficking.


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