Trafficking Survivor Gives Back to Families In His Community

Speeches Shim

Monday, February 3, 2020

Over two years ago, Alim was looking for work (name changed to protect the identity of the individual).  Like many people in Uzbekistan, Alim was considering traveling abroad to find work where he would be able to earn higher wages than what he could find at home.  One of Alim’s acquaintances was a local recruiter and offered him the chance to work at a construction site in a nearby country, promising good living conditions and a monthly salary of US $700. But when Alim arrived to work on a construction team building cottages, his passport was taken away.  Alim began working for the construction company but after a month, he still had not been paid. Alim was told by his employer that the employer was sending Alim’s wages to the recruiter to pay him for recruiting Alim. When Alim refused to work without being paid, he was physically and psychologically abused and his employer threatened to report him to the police.  Not knowing what else to do, Alim continued working until he was finally able to get his passport back. He left the construction site and looked for work wherever he could. As soon as he was able to earn enough money for a train ticket home, he returned to Uzbekistan.  

Under the USAID Dignity and Rights project, IOM and its local NGO partner learned about Alim’s plight and decided to help. He received tools and began working independently as a plumber. After gaining experience, he was hired as a plumber by a construction company and began work in a permanent position.  

Alim now has his own team of plumbers who have a regular stream of work and don’t need to turn to labor migration.  He provides services for low-income families free of charge. “I received the tools at no cost. I feel like I need to help others just as I was helped,” says Alim.