Conducted 12 raids and rescued 31 girls from January to December 2016.
Provided witness details, logistical support and preparation assistance to the Public Prosecutor in 3 cases in Nagpur and surrounding regions.
Aftercare support given to 124 girls and for the 31 newly rescued girls. Provided vocational trainings, counselling, health care, life skills and basic literacy for the girls that are part of the vocational training in a government home and Freedom Firm’s social enterprise Ruhamah Designs.
31 home investigations/ follow ups were performed to ensure that previously rescued girls are safe and reintegrating well into mainstream society.
Rescue work in Pune and Nagpur in Maharashtra has become increasingly difficult as brothel owners are very careful with prostituting minors given the regular presence of NGOs and law enforcement agencies. So the team has added a their focus on other areas where there is great need. While the rescue team were exploring new areas they found minors in two smaller cities in Madhya Pradesh. Raids was conducted and minors were rescued in both these places. It was revealed that after one of the raids in a brothel – which was over 150 years old – it was closed down. It is a strong success that these rescue activities contributed to the closure of the brothel. The rescue team has found three districts in Madhya Pradesh where the need is greatest, where already 17 minor girls have been rescued in 2016. Therefore, expanding rescue operations from Maharashtra to Madhya Pradesh has proven to be effective.
We thank all our donors and partners working with us on this project to fight against sexual exploitation of girls. Your contributions allow us to liberate and support girls that have been subject to this horrific crime.
Dec 26, 2016
Insights from parent-survivor interaction activity
By Free a Girl and Shakti Samuha - Project Officer
An annual interaction activity was recently held between survivors that previously stayed at the shelter and their parents.The aim was to find out how reintegrated survivors and their parents are doing in the community and the further support needed as well as to understand the behaviour and attitude of people in the community towards trafficking survivors.
During the activity all 24 participants simultaneously discussed their situations in their homes and communities. The social stigma that the survivors and parents face in the community by other community members itself was identified as a key issue. However, the parents said that they would stand up for their daughters against any discrimination. They also expressed that they want to participate in further anti-trafficking advocacy and activities. The parents of survivors also shared that such an activity is very necessary to build up their family’s confidence and capacity to protect and support their daughters.
The participants also talked about what they believe to be the causes of trafficking. They identified several factors: illiteracy, lack of information regarding human trafficking, poverty, lack of opportunities in the community, dysfunctional family and lack of awareness on strangers’ false promises. Similarly, if their children fall unknowingly into the trap of traffickers, the parents agreed that they should support their daughters to file a case against the traffickers.
The survivors also reflected on their reintegration process in their own communities. They believe that there still some social stigma attached to being a trafficking survivor. They also still feel a threat from their traffickers and prefer to stay in urban areas because the population is larger and people there don’t know them and their background. However, the survivors also mentioned that they would love to return to their villages if they didn’t have to face stigma from their communities and if they could find a job according to their skills and interests.
It is clear that more awareness raising and sensitisation is needed in communities and villages to ensure the acceptance of survivors back into the community. A wider problem faced by many of the survivors and their families is the lack of employment opportunities in their villages. These insights and feedback from the interaction activity are integral for the project and to find better ways to support survivors return to normal life.
Dec 13, 2016
New beginnings for rescued girl
By Freedom Firm (local partner) and Free a Girl - -
This project aims to rescue girls that are being sexually exploited in brothels in India. The following case gives a glimpse into what these girls face and what it means for them to receive support and training after being rescued.
Prisha* was rescued in September 2014 by the rescue team along with local law enforcement from Pune’s red-light area. Unlike most other girls who are forced into prostitution by their families, Prisha was kidnapped and then sold to her brothel keeper. At first, she refused to work but then thought it would be good to save money and run away. She was never given any money but was given food and clothes in exchange for having sex with customers.
After her rescue, Prisha was placed in a short-stay home for rescued women where she participated in several vocational courses and built her skills and confidence. She was recently selected as a hotel management trainee and after her training, she will be placed in a 4 or 5-star hotel. She told the social worker, "whatever I wanted, the kind of environment I wanted to work in, and that’s what I got. I am very happy, and I can’t wait to begin work."
Prisha completed her training in January and joined the hotel as full-time staff. In a recent conversation with Freedom Firm’s social worker, a partner of Free a Girl, Prisha sounded extremely happy and well adjusted to her new life.
We would like to thank the supporters of this project for contributing to enabling such positive outcomes for girls like Prisha. After surviving being forced into prostitution in a brothel and dealing with the traumatic experiences, it is often very difficult for girls like Prisha to reintegrate an become mainstreamed into society again. Finding a job can be very difficult given the stigma associated with being a survivor of forced prostitution. Interventions such as these, which include vocational training and lifeskills and sexual and reproductive health and rights trainings, are therefore much needed for girls to obtain jobs and gain awareness, independence and self-sufficiency.
*The name has been changed to protect the identity of the survivor