AACC Partnership: STOP! Trafficking and Oppression for Children and Women

AACC and Stop! have partnered  together to provide international support to end the sex traffic industry.

The commercial sexual exploitation of children is a major global industry and the researchers suggest that it generates up to US $ 5 billion worldwide. The income earned by this industry through trafficking, sex tourism and pornography is second only to that generated by the smuggling of drugs and arms. Each year 500,000 children worldwide are forced into sexual exploitation, with girls between the ages of 10 and 14 years considered most vulnerable.

Research on cross border trafficking indicates that 5,000 – 7,000 young Nepali girls are trafficked into India annually.  In the last decade, the average age of the trafficked girl has steadily fallen from 14 to 16 years to 10 to 14 years. Metro-based prostitution in India reveals that forty percent of the sex workers entered the sex trade when they were under the age of 18. Forty-five percent of girls entering the sex trade belonged to the category of neglected juveniles at the time of their entry into the profession.

The mission of STOP! is to stop trafficking and oppression through education, legal movements and rescuing children and women from various forms of slavery and trafficking. Stop! rescues girls and provides a safe home for them to heal and rehabilitate as well as receive an education and life skills. They provide many opportunities for survivors to realize their potential and to become empowered individuals and agents of change.

AACC members, Deborah Young, Reana Young-Morrison, Enna Kladstrup and Todd Bilsgorough visited STOP! in Delhi, India, acknowledging the hard work and passion of this organization toward creating greater social justice.

The AACC team was very impressed with the approach of STOP! which is to work with the official system, as well as grassroots outreach centers in the communities where the sex traffic industry has occupied. In this way, not only rescue missions are successful, but also preventative work in the communities is addressed and education for officials is shared. The team learned that many of the communities consist of marginalized Muslim peoples, mainly children, youth and women, traveling from Bangladesh and India to the Middle East for work.  During their travels they are targeted for exploitation.

STOP! has developed strong relationships with many of the Ministries and Secretaries in an advisory and consulting role.  This is one of the strongest components of the work STOP! is involved in.  STOP! is also a resource for the police academy and judicial academy, building very strong relationships.

Stop! has two community outreach centers and provides educational assistance for the children in the centers.  They also provide support for all the girls to attend the regular schools once the girls have transitioned from their rescue. In addition to regular school opportunities, the girls receive skill training via a hotel management school and a nursing certification program. Stop! also provides a home for girls that is situated just outside of the city in a secure, quiet neighborhood on about a half-acre of land. The home includes a 24-hour housing staff.

For more information on Stop! please use the following link: http://www.stop-india.org/

AACC Partnership: Mandala Freedom Project

AACC has formed a funding partnership with the Mandala Freedom Project, which is dedicated to planting seeds of freedom, healing and empowerment in all beings. Most specifically they work with women and children survivors of trafficking, sexual slavery and other marginalized populations. The project collaborates with local groups in India and Nepal teaching yoga, meditation and healing practices with the girls.  They also work very closely with India-based STOP! in New Delhi.

It is often said that it is easier to take people out of slavery than it is to help them rehabilitate. A girl may be freed from the brothels, but she is often not given the support to do the deep healing necessary to stop the cycle of abuse, so will often go back into abusive situations.  The goal of the Mandala Freedom Project is to empower the girls and those in the profession with tools that can change their lives and make decisions that move toward social justice and kindness.

For more information on the Mandala Freedom Project, please follow this link see their Facebook page.