UNDP is working with private sector employers to help reduce the HIV vulnerability of women and girls who have been trafficked for sex work by providing livelihood skills training designed to help trainees achieve greater autonomy and financial independence.
UNDP worked with partner nongovernmental organisations to identify women and girls who wished to receive training, and to link training with their interests and skills. UNDP and its nongovernmental organisation partners also facilitated the involvement of the companies at all stages, from needs assessment to designing and implementing the initiative. The partners, which spanned seven Indian cities, included the HIV and Human Development Resource Network, a not-for-profit organisation established with UNDP assistance to promote social service entrepreneurship; and private sector enterprises including Bata and ITC Hotels, Creative Candles, Essar Bakery, Lupin Foundation, Perfetti Van Melle, Sajitha Bakery, Satyam Computers, Sundaram Exports, Surya Masala, Taj Hotels and Taj Mahal Hotel.
Through training courses that ranged from short seven-day sessions to intensive six-month classes, the partnership helped trafficked women and girls develop new skills in a variety of areas–from catering to computers and from clothes production to jewellery setting. Trainees also attended a day-long motivational class prior to participation. Among the challenges addressed by UNDP and its partners was sensitising sponsoring companies to the needs of the trainees, and to address potential prejudice against them. On the other side, some support was required to familiarise trainees with expectations in the business world, such as the need for consistent attendance and punctuality at work. Pre-training motivational sessions were key to helping prepare the trainees and overcome obstacles related to self-esteem.