PROTECTING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD AGAINST SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
Free a Girl USA considers it intolerable that children are exploited in the sex industry. The sexual exploitation of children is one of the grossest violations of children’s rights. Free a Girl USA believes that too little concrete action is being taken around the world to fight the problem in practice, and we see a clear role here for our organization.
Fighting CSE requires a holistic approach in which various intervention strategies play a key role. Free a Girl USA has divided these into the following program themes: Prevention; Rescues; Rehabilitation; Reintegration; Access to Justice.
Free a Girl USA works together with partner organizations in India, Nepal, Laos, China ,Brazil, Bangladesh, Thailand and Iraq.
Free a Girl USA has the following objectives:
- Protecting all children around the world against sexual exploitation;
- Raising awareness in the USA of the existence of child sexual exploitation and the urgency of fighting it.
- Action-oriented. We take action to prevent and fight the sexual exploitation of minors. We focus more on action, less on words.
- Results-oriented. We are a professional organization with objectives that we strive to achieve. This is something we also expect from our partners.
- Transparent. We are open about how we work and our operational management. Figures, facts and activities are recorded each year in the annual report, which is published on the website.
- Distinctive. Free a Girl USA is a small organization with global ambitions. We can respond more quickly than other organizations, and we dare to tackle the problem in a progressive way.
- Prevention: Through various activities, Free a Girl USA wants to make families and children aware at the local, national and international levels of the problem of child trafficking and child exploitation. This ranges from information campaigns in villages where children are at risk of falling into the hands of traffickers, to national campaigns in program countries or in the US itself.
- Rescues and research: Free a Girl USA support local organizations worldwide that do everything they can to rescue girls from situations in which they are sexually exploited. Our colleagues commit themselves daily, sometimes at the risk of their own lives, to collect evidence by going undercover in brothels or conducting online investigations as cyber security professionals. Within this we also have our Smart Rescue Program and Online Scraping Program.
- Providing Access to Justice: We stand up for the interests of minored victims of sexual exploitation. In addition to rescuing the victims from situations of exploitation, we try to help the victims as much as possible within the current legal systems of our program countries. Free a Girl USA uses a bottom-up approach by operating at the local and district level. We want to ensure that within the complex legal systems of our program countries, the survivors of sexual exploitation we work with receive fair treatment within this legal system and find justice for what has been done to them in the form of compensation and/ convictions. We take care of the legal process of individual victims and work with local and district authorities to ensure that justice is done fairly for these victims.
- Rehabilitation & Reintegration: Once girls have been rescued from the sex industry, this is followed by a long period of processing and healing. Free a Girl USA has an obligation to ensure that victims receive good shelter and care after they have been rescued. Free a Girl USA aims to provide the best aftercare for victims of sexual exploitation, based on the principles of love, protection, safety, care and growth.
Effective reintegration is an enormous challenge, because exploitation in the sex industry carries a huge stigma. In their own communities, the girls are often seen not as victims of human trafficking and exploitation, but as “bad girls” who have violated the family’s honor or even that of the whole community. If there is no support from the family, it is all the more important to ensure that the girls can learn the skills they need to find a job and take care of themselves. This can be a major challenge in poor areas where job opportunities are limited.
Special programs: Free a Girl USA works with local organizations and supports their activities because we believe in the local knowledge and capacity of partners. In addition, Free a Girl USA has set up two programs of its own: School for Justice and Smart Rescue.