RAKSHA NEPAL – Rehabilitation Shelter
$0 of $50,000 raised
RAKSHA NEPAL Ending compulsive prostitution and violence against women and children BACKGROUND The underground world of human trafficking has continued to grow turning into the fastest growing criminal enterprise of the 21st century. Traffickers make an estimated 150 billion per year by selling and exploiting humans. Whether it starts as a job offer or a relationship with a seemingly caring partner, many men, women, and children are coerced or trapped via fraud into compulsive sex labor. The United Nations Office of Crime and Drugs reported that approximately 1 in 5 of people being exploited today for commercial sex are children. With almost 20% of forced sexual exploitation being children, that means almost four million children around the world are subjected to abuse that can potentially affect them for decades: STIs, anxiety, psychological development delays, and threats of violence and familial abandonment are just a handful of the negative consequences that these victims may experience due to their abuse. What can also be significantly difficult to overcome, is the social ostracism rescued victims are often subjected to due to cultural and societal stigma –this is especially the case in more developing and rural locations. Today, there are an estimated 40.3 million individuals trapped in modern slavery—including conditions of forced labor, sexual exploitation, child marriage, and domestic servitude. Nepal’s public infrastructure offers little resources for aftercare and reintegration of children affected by sever forms of sexual crimes and sex trafficking. Criminal justice processes and lack of child protection rights can often favor traffickers over victims. When cases of victimization, rape, exploitation, and trauma do arise; law enforcement turn to non-governmentally operated shelters and organizations to hand over trafficked and abused children in need of a long and holistic healing and reintegration process. Children in need of rescue and protective services in Nepal are abundant, whereas adequate organizations to take in those children are not. ORGANIZATIONAL MODEL Raksha Nepal is an international non-profit organization with a vision to live in a world free from commercial sexual exploitation, gender-based violence, and modern slavery. We accomplish our mission by preventing human exploitation, rescuing victims, repairing lives, and advocating for policy change. Raksha Nepal operates a proven multi-disciplinary model based on principles of social justice and gender equity which places our beneficiaries at the center of our programming. Our social impact model is based on the understanding that modern slavery — including commercial sexual exploitation of children – is complex, and thus requires a multidisciplinary approach. Within our program structure we employ a range of methods and activities to address specific needs of each individual child and woman beneficiary, including, but not limited to: risk assessments, provision of training, outreach, legal and social support, victim aftercare, psychosocial services through counseling, reintegration support, community development, and key stakeholder engagement. The activities and service lines provided by Raksha Nepal include the following:
- Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration of sexually exploited children
- Transitional programs for women to escape both compulsory and voluntary prostitution
- Advocacy, Prevention & Community Outreach
- We provide catch-up education with the purpose of helping children fulfill academic potential and thereby be able to better integrate into formal education when they are eventually placed back into family-based care
- We address their medical needs. Many children enter Raksha with severe gynecological trauma and some as young as 12 have arrived pregnant. Many of the girls will not be able to bear children because of their abuse.
- Children are provided with daily meals
- We provide psychological support in the form of one-to-one and group counseling sessions with the purpose of helping children overcome the trauma of rape, violence, incest, systemic exploitation, and living on the streets and develop trust with their peers and adults. We work with clinical psychologists to provide regular treatment to each child
- We run life-skills sessions, teaching about healthy decision making, dance workshops, jewelry making workshops, martial arts training, discuss issues related to self-worth, gender, and discrimination, and life values
- Begin the judicial process to ensure predators are brought to justice. This also includes preparing children to testify against their traffickers and abusers. Note that in Nepal children receive no preferential treatment and we have had to help prepare children as young as six years old to speak in court, with their traffickers in the same room, to ensure justice is had on criminals.
- Advocate for changes in law to protect women against sexual exploitation
- Advocate for the enforcement of laws and changes in social norms to protect women and girls from sexual exploitation and violence
- Lobby for effective implementation of national and international laws involving child labor, child rights, discrimination against women, and the modification of unequal laws currently in place
- In coordination with local media, Raksha distributes on local radio, news, and talk shows conversations regarding problems faced by women and children working in high-risk locations for sexual exploitation. In one instance, one girl caught in captivity called the number she heard on the radio. Raksha subsequently rescued her. At the time she was 15 and servicing up to 40 men each day for sex.
- Other outreach activities include transect walks on the streets to map out where children and women are, risk assessments, interaction with children and women in streets, slums, assessing dangers and exposure as well as highlighting available referral points for protective services