LIFT: reimagining livelihood interventions for survivors of CSE and trafficking in India

There is an increasing need to deviate from traditional livelihood projects and to employ livelihood approaches tailored to the specific needs of survivors of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and trafficking. 

Seefar’s LIFT India project places mental health and empowerment training as critical building blocks to successful livelihood pathways for survivors. With funding from the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) – LIFT India continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of its innovative approach in two of India’s most important hubs for CSE and trafficking, Kolkata and Mumbai.  

How does LIFT India differ from traditional livelihoods projects?

  • LIFT is adapted to the local context. Our curriculum was adapted in consultation with diverse stakeholders in each location, each of whom specialise in working with our participants’ communities. This means that the language, examples and activities we employ are easily understood by our participants, ensuring that they successfully grasp the concepts and behaviours we are teaching. 
  • LIFT provides holistic, trauma-informed psychological support. Our Adaptive Counselling curriculum, aimed at stabilising participants and addressing the underlying symptoms of trauma, was developed by psychologists and is delivered by mental health professionals. This ensures that we are providing the best possible psychological support for participants. 
  • LIFT includes behaviour-based training. LIFT India teaches participants to be proactive and to think critically. This increases psychological flexibility and reduces the likelihood of re-victimisation, creates more space for education, and teaches participants to seize livelihoods opportunities. 
  • LIFT considers clear market needs in developing sustainable livelihoods pathways. Our approach harnesses the booming global freelance economy – allowing participants to work flexibly and to bypass structural barriers – thereby reinforcing economic independence, decreasing their vulnerability and ultimately reducing the prevalence of CSE.

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