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Commercial Sexual Exploitation
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March 29, 2021
As a part of our partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, GFEMS is pleased to share the launch of two new projects with our partner, Terre des Hommes Netherlands. The projects are based in Kenya and Uganda with a focus on skills development and livelihoods for survivors and community-based prevention of child sex trafficking, respectively.
See more of our work combatting sex trafficking.
In Kenya, the partnership will focus on implementing community-based prevention methods, formal education for young survivors, vocational skills training, apprenticeships and job skilling for older survivors, and improvement of household livelihoods for the most vulnerable families of survivors of child sex trafficking. Targeting known sex trafficking hotspot locations in coastal Kenya, the project works to address both the supply of vulnerable individuals and the enabling environment that allows trafficking to persist.
On the supply side, the project aims to reduce vulnerability of survivors and children to exploitation. For young survivors, the project will reintegrate participants into formal education with additional support services such as provision of school supplies, access to social protection programs, and training for teachers on how best to identify and report instances of child sex trafficking and support survivors.
For older child survivors, the project will focus on job skilling and facilitate job placement with partner companies. This will include enrollment in vocational skills training or apprenticeship programs, market-based job placement and continued training opportunities, and coaching and mentoring for survivors.
Addressing the enabling environment, community leaders will be trained to engage through community-led dialogues to address the deep rooted negative social norms that contribute to child sex trafficking.
In Uganda, GFEMS and Terre des Hommes Netherlands are focusing on community-based prevention of child trafficking, including child sex trafficking, by establishing and enforcing child protection regulatory frameworks from the national level to the community level. Targeting the Karamoja region, the project aims to reduce the supply of individuals vulnerable to child trafficking and address the enabling environment in the region.
Draft and lobby for the ratification of the Child Protection Ordinance
In addition, the project will draft and lobby for by-laws in four sub-counties of Napak District, Karamoja.
Identify and train Child Protection Champions
This includes community leaders, religious and cultural leaders, and local private sector actors. They will serve as models for child protection and support awareness-raising initiatives.
Support more than 30 schools
The project will help schools build their capacities to identify, respond to, and follow up on cases of child sex trafficking and to promote child protection and empowerment more broadly.
Promote community awareness of child sex trafficking
In addition, the project will promote positive behaviors through a variety of mixed-media interventions addressing the following topics: 1) Awareness-raising on child trafficking and prevention programming, 2) the popularization of the ordinance and by-laws, and 3) the promotion of child-friendly social norms.
Addressing the enabling environment, the project will work to counter the negative social norms that perpetuate and support child trafficking, through interconnected community dialogue and engagement activities. Subjects addressed will include the importance of education for children, especially girls; what communities and families can do to protect children, and how to prevent stigma and discrimination against survivors. Male involvement in these dialogues is key, as men are the “consumers/clients” of child sex trafficking and the primary household decision makers, especially regarding education.
Incorporated into the programming agenda, throughout the course of the project, GFEMS and Terre des Hommes Netherlands will seek to understand whether targeted community engagement can effectively promote positive behavior change.
GFEMS looks forward to providing updates on this project and sharing our learnings with the anti-trafficking community. For updates on this project and others like it, subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
This article and the Terre des Hommes Netherlands projects were funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of State.