Despite clear commitments in the international policy agenda and international law, the rights of children continue to be violated.Sexual exploitation of children (SEC) is a major problem that takes place in every country around the world.
Free a Girl works in countries with very complex legal systems. The laws, judiciary and civil service are slow to adapt, and procedures relating to child sexual exploitation are often bureaucratic and dysfunctional. There are countless problems to be solved in the legal system.
We want to move towards a world in which justice for victims of sexual exploitation is the norm. However, adapting a country’s legislation and civil service requires years of systemic change. Time and manpower are needed to bring about even small changes. Free a Girl recognizes the need for change.
What does Free a Girl do?
1. We take a bottom up approach
Free a Girl helps as many survivors as possible within current legal frameworks. At the same time, we work with other NGOs to improve the position of child survivors of sexual exploitation in the legal system.
2. We have a dual focus
First, we offer legal assistance to bring offenders to trial (human traffickers or pimps). Second, we raise awareness among local police and the judiciary and get them talking about the problem.
In order to give all survivors access to justice, we provide legal advice, provide good lawyers, file charges, prepare court hearings, inform survivors and girls in high-risk areas about their rights, and boost the mental resilience and strength of survivors.
Awareness-raising among local police and judiciary
We share information about suspects with the police, lobby and advocate to improve legislation, and train the police and judiciary to investigate and fight child sexual exploitation.
3. Special program: School for Justice
To tackle impunity, Free a Girl set up the School for Justice program in India in 2017. In 2019 we opened a school in Nepal, and in 2022 we launched the program in Brazil. We are seeing girls who had been living in vulnerable situations being transformed into change agents and powerful women who can make a difference in society. Women who fight for their rights and those of their peers.
School for Justice
School for Justice is an award-winning program for survivors of sexual exploitation who become change agents. In the School for Justice program survivors become human rights professionals such as lawyers, paralegals, public prosecutors, journalists, counsellors and policewomen, so they can change the system from within. The School for Justice Change Agents will raise awareness on national and local platforms about the problem of sexual exploitation and play an active role in the fight and providing access to justice. We are seeing girls who had been living in vulnerable situations being transformed into change agents and powerful women who can make a difference in society. Women who fight for their rights and those of their peers.