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Missing Girls - Raising awareness in Calcutta schools about Sex Trafficking - part one

July 1 2017 | Blog

EVERY 26 SECONDS A CHILD IS SOLD INTO SLAVERY.

I have just got back from India, the purpose of the trip was to visit our lovely factory where we make our blankets and bedding, and to spend some time with the Missing Girls project in Calcutta. I have followed and supported them since they began (you can see our original interview with their founder Leena Kejriwal here). Recently they have started to expand their work and influence, they are developing a livelihood project (which we are getting involved with - watch this space!) for girls who have been rescued from or are particularly vulnerable to sex trafficking. They are also going into schools, holding workshops for 11-14 year olds, raising awareness about the dangers of grooming, child marriage and trafficking. I spent some time with them in a school in central Calcutta where 2-3 girls go missing every academic year.

First the team asked the girls all about what they like to do in their spare time and what they are hoping to do with their lives. We got the same answers you would expect all over the world; dance, play football, bake, read, spend time with friends, dress up, become a doctor, nurse, teacher, artist, lawyer, a bride, a mother!

Then the team told them a story about a little girl who is given lots of attention by a boy, he tells her he loves her, promises to marry her and persuades her to run away with him to Delhi! You get the picture....same story in England, USA and far too many other countries. 

If any of you speak Bengali you're in luck with this video ;)

The teachers told us afterwards that a significant number of the girls have already been approached with offers of love, marriage and gifts and had lots of questions for Leena and her team. It was such a relevant session that both the teachers and the girls asked if the MISSING team could come back again.

The lovely teachers x

Today there are 3 million prostituted women in India, out of which 1.2 million are young girls. The average age of recruitment of girls into sex slavery is between 9 and 12 years old.

These two summed it all up for me, why I was there, why I am passionate about this cause, why I am building a Social Enterprise that will be part of the fight against Child Sexual Exploitation........ BEST FRIENDS X The same all over the world (London, NYC, Calcutta...) giggling in class, sharing secrets and planning to live together when they grow up because boys are annoying :)

#endtrafficking #enddemand #missinggirls #everygirlmatters

Love Louise. Images, my own x

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