Pledge to make Indian homes slavery free

Almost every family in India’s big cities has a regular maid. The maid who cooks, cleans, takes care of the children, irons clothes and completes other household work. The ‘bai’ who goes home at the end of a long day to take care of her own family. The ‘aaya’ who always gets paid at the end of every month.

But chances are that someone just like her, a maid working near your house, is being ill-treated or even forced to work – with no pay, no contact with family or friends, working from early morning to midnight and vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse.

We know that you respect maids for the hard work they do, probably your friends and family do too. By signing this pledge, you’ll send a strong message to those who treat their maids as less than human.

The demand for live-in maids in big cities is rising, and feeding on this vast market are numerous, obscure placement agencies that lure vulnerable girls from villages with false promise of a good job in the city. People near you may be paying these agencies to hire a maid without verification, and in most cases, paying the monthly salary to the agency instead of her.

Take a stand for all these girls and young women who can’t speak up for themselves and ensure that they are treated well and are working on their own free will.

Human trafficking is a crime. To report in India, call Shakti Vahini on +91-11-42244224, +91-9582909025 or the national helpline Childline on 1098.

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Take a stand against domestic slavery

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I believe that no person should be forced or trapped in any work, whether in my own family home, or any other work place. I’ll be outraged if someone took my son or daughter, took their labour for free, and treated them like a slave.

By signing this pledge, I’m taking a stand against domestic slavery and ensuring that “My Home is Slavery Free”.

I pledge to:

– Not employ anyone below the age of 18 years;
– Verify my domestic worker’s identity with the local police;
– Check the recruitment process to ensure no illegal fees have been paid. I commit to pay the brokerage/agents fee (costs of recruitment) myself, so my domestic worker does not incur debts before she/he arrives at my house;
– Pay salary directly to my domestic worker, preferably in her/his bank account, and in accordance with the minimum wages set by the state government;
– Ensure that my domestic worker is in regular touch with her/his family;
– Ensure that she/he is not working more than 8 hours a day and has a weekly day off.

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Our partner in this campaign:

Shakti Vahini

Shakti Vahini works tirelessly to end violence against women and children in India, with a focus on combating human trafficking, slavery and child labour. Shakti Vahini works closely with law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, police, government agencies, and statutory agencies to combat violence against women and children. In the last ten years, the organization has rescued more than 2000 victims of human trafficking from various exploitative situations.

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