Empowering families and children, GFEMS and Seefar partner to end commercial sexual exploitation
December 10, 2020
As a part of its work with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), GFEMS is partnering with Seefar and My Choices Foundation (MCF) in India to empower children, families, and communities to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).
The project is a new investment in the Fund’s sex trafficking portfolio, focusing on addressing the supply side of slavery and reducing risks for most vulnerable individuals, a key pillar in the Fund’s intervention framework. After an extensive period of scoping research and program design, GFEMS identified targeted prevention interventions among children, their families, and local communities at risk of trafficking and CSEC as an opportunity with high potential for impact and replication.
Coupled with other investments within the FCDO partnership, the Fund’s objective in this project is to understand which targeted prevention intervention is the most effective when working with vulnerable communities in West Bengal. The project is centered around implementing a messaging campaign to inform children of the risk of becoming victims of CSEC and reach potential enablers of CSEC in West Bengal.
The project strategically matches Seefar’s proven anti-trafficking expertise in complex environments with MCF’s broad grassroots network and pre-existing trafficking prevention model, the Safe Village Program (SVP). The intervention is a behavior-change campaign with community strengthening activities in West Bengal. The campaign tests the comparative impact of different combinations of activities in empowering vulnerable individuals and communities to recognize, prevent, and respond to trafficking and CSEC. These activities will include: word of mouth/ remote counselling, service mapping and referral pathways, digital media outreach and media engagement, school and community-based outreach, parent outreach, and community outreach to deliver the behavior-change messaging. Messaging provided will focus on the warning signs of CSEC and the realities children may face when moving away from home at an early age for employment or marriage.
Seefar will test the effectiveness of the prevention strategies to understand which method – or combination of methods – is most effective in changing the knowledge, attitudes, and practices among youth, their families, and their communities with regard to risks to CSEC.