Suresh Kumar

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Survivor Engagement in Combating Child TraffickingIndia

Suresh Kumar is an Acumen Fellow, and Executive Director at Centre DIRECT, where he fights against child labor and trafficking with a focus on prosecuting child traffickers. He assists law enforcement agencies in rescuing the victims, prosecuting the traffickers and oppressive employers, and providing anti-trafficking training. He has trained over 9,000 law enforcement personnel, over 12,000 youth, and 30,000 community members over the past two decades on combating child trafficking. 

Suresh also files Public Interest Litigations (PIL) for securing relief to the vulnerable children. Currently, he has been rebuilding the lives of over 700 child trafficking survivors in Bihar who were rescued from bangle factories at Jaipur in Rajasthan. Suresh spearheads the Child Trafficking Survivors Collective Movement in Bihar which has around 300 child trafficking survivors as members. He writes on child protection issues for the leading newspapers in India. Suresh studied law at the Delhi University and authored “Child Trafficking The Fight For Freedom.”

Suresh works under the Child Labour Free Jaipur Project in Bihar and oversees rehabilitation and legal support activities to child trafficking survivors and their families across 9 districts. This includes regular follow-up, home visits, facilitating enrolment, and re-enrolment in school or vocational training for all child trafficking survivors. He also works on supporting access to benefits under government schemes and compensation for eligible rescued children. Another aspect of Suresh's work is reintegrating trafficking survivors and encouraging them to meet regularly and identify issues of common concern that the survivors’ collective would like to address through collective actions.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Survivor Engagement in Combating Child Trafficking

The project engaged 55 child trafficking survivors in combating child trafficking in six communities. The project provided necessary training to enable them to fully reintegrate back into their communities, including training on enforcement of child trafficking law as well as welfare and compensation schemes, in order to gain a stable economic footing and become informed advocates to be able to move towards child trafficking-free communities. As a result of the project, 45 of the survivors have become members in the anti-human trafficking committees at different levels, and 50 of the survivors have become active youth group members and are engaged in keeping a watch against machinations of human traffickers and thwarting human trafficking attempts in their communities.

"I feel more confident now. My leadership journey under the project has reformed me. It gave me a hope and direction to my life to save children through active participation of community people in preventing child trafficking." - Project Participant

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Suresh was a participant in the IVLP Project Combating Trafficking in Persons, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Cultural Vistas.

Suresh's exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project: "I visited an organization in Denver that was working on survivor empowerment [and that] has inspired me to do the same back in my home country."

U.S. Communities Visited

Washington, DC; Denver, CO; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Corpus Christi, TX

Country: India 

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