HELP’s work is based in red-light areas located in Guntur Dist & Prakasam Dist in Andhra Pradesh. HELP works with all individuals/Groups involved in the phenomenon of prostitution, be they are victims or perpetrators of prostitution. HELP sees the group of prostituted women as victims and various agents in the prostitution market such as brothel-keepers, pimps, customers, shopkeepers, etc., as perpetrators. HELP also perceives certain persons as vulnerable to being prostituted or vulnerability to becoming a perpetrator. The work of HELP comprises of simultaneous action at three main levels of work.
- Amelioration of Situation
- Rescue & rehabilitation
HELP works on its principal premise that an impact on trafficking and exploitation with in prostitution will be brought about by its simultaneous social works intervention on all the three groups and at all three levels.
Prevention of Second Generation to be trafficked
To address the issues related to women &children in this areas. HELP adopted the following strategies.
- Asha Sadan: Residential Care Centre (Education & Rehabilitation Programme for children of victims)
- Vathsalya: crèche centers and Drop-In-Centers
- Surakhsa : night care centres in red-light areas
- Akansha: Skill/vocational trainings
- TRUST – Centre for rehabilitation
- Health & Counseling programme
- Rescue & rehabilitation/re-integration
- Alterative IGPs * Intervention with systems programme
- Formation of SHGs & CBO’s * Advocacy and Lobbying
- Networking with NGOs, CBOs and Social Support Groups
Shelter home for rescued victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation
Asha Sadan is the only transit centre in the coastal Andhra, recognized by the Government to house, rehabilitate and reintegrate victims of child trafficking. Started by HELP in 2005, it facilitates government support services such as Immediate Relief Support under G.O.Ms.No.28 and Rehabilitation support under G.O.Ms.No.1. Since its inception, Asha Sadan has been able to support and mainstream more than 500 rescued children and enriched 25 children with good employment opportunities.
Current Scenario of Child Trafficking and Exploitation
- Human trafficking is identified as the third largest source of income for organised crimes, followed by trafficking of weapons, and drugs, generating billions of dollars every year. India is a country of origin, transit and destination for thousands of trafficked persons.
- 19,223 women and children were victims of human trafficking in India in 2016;
- Out of which 9,104 are trafficked children last year
- 27% increase from the previous year.
- Andhra Pradesh has emerged as a state which is the origin, transit, and destination for thousands of trafficked victims.
- Evidence from a number of studies shows economic poverty, besides unstable home environments, as one of the prime causes for trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficked victims often face irreversible damage, resulting due to frequent abuse, and are denied access to education, and face significant health risks, including HIV. More often they are placed in situations of extreme dependence, and are conditioned to believe that they have no alternative life options.
- With the vision to see a world free of child exploitation, HELP recognizes child trafficking is the worst form of child exploitation. Asha Sadan provides IBR (institution-based rehabilitation), besides providing CBR (community-based rehabilitation) initiatives to bridge critical gaps in the existing rehabilitation efforts and ensure smooth social reintegration of the rescued victims.
- Located in Machavaram village, 30 km from Ongole, Asha Sadan serves as a residential crisis center and aids the rehabilitation of such victims rescued from trafficking. After being rescued by the law enforcement, victims will be referred by court of Law or Child Welfare Committee (in case of minors) for care and protection services to Asha Sadan. Here the children are provided with basic needs viz.,
- Food and Health: Nutritious meal, along with additional health services
- Psycho-emotional support: Trauma counseling and psychotherapy by trained social workers
- Education and Skill Development: Education support through distance mode, Vocational training and life skills training like bag making, tailoring, bakery, and others are provided.
- Safe community: Besides providing a shelter, the home also serves as a community of children and adults, a safe environment for growth and nurturing.
- Currently it is home to some 50+ children, victims of child trafficking and children of trafficked victims with ages ranging from 5-17 years.
- Asha Sadan has created hopes in these victims towards a better living. Once the children attain age of 18 years, the reintegration process would be taken up. This would commence with interaction with the family members of the victims, local Panchayat Raj Institutions, community leaders and Anganwadi workers so as to reduce social stigma and to create a safety net through community based protection mechanism. Their progress is regularly monitored by providing safe environment which is very essential to reduce the chances of re-trafficking of the survivors.
- 120 rescued girls/women received formal/non-formal educational services from transit center
- 75 abused/exploited/trafficked victims received vocational trainings and psycho-social services from transit center
- 50 girls/women receive victim/witness support services and state support services through G.O.Ms.No. 1 or 28.
- 50 rescued girls and women received ToT in barefoot counseling and life skill education
- 50 rescued girls and women received alternative livelihood/employment through various Government and Non-Governmental organisations/institutions.
- With various collaboration, HELP has created a robust awareness among the stakeholders of community, CSOs, Government as well as private sector on ill effects of trafficking. HELP-Asha Sadan has been addressing the prevention, protection, rehabilitation and social reintegration of rescued victims from human trafficking, and also preventing re-trafficking of rescued victims.
Rescue & Rehabilitation Programmes: (Interventions to Pre & post Rescue operations)
- Transit centre
- Skill trainings
- Home investigation
- Social reintegration programme
- Counselling services
- Livelihood support for identified vulnerable families
- Advocacy and lobbying activities through child groups
- Rescue and rehabilitation activities for rescued children
Child Rights Resource Center
- HELP aims to evolve into a center for resource, documentation, preparation of IEC, dissemination and evaluation on Child trafficking, Child rights and support organizations on preparation of child related programmes and projects.
- This aim is being gradually realized with the available resources and growing demand being araised by the increasing no of NGO, Govt., Adolescents, CBOs, CSOs and other Activists. The senior personnel of this organization are called upon as resource persons by a no of Govt. Departments, INGOs, NGO and academic groups. Interns and students of social work are opting for short term placement with HELP.
- In order to enable better understanding of the issues of trafficking in women & children and child rights among the public and various stake holders, HELP had brought out many posters, reading material, papers, articles, broachers, training manuals, news letters, pamphlets, book lets etc.
- Public forums : HELP is making attempts to develop awareness among community, CBO, general public in organizing public forums in different parts of the state and initiated discussions on trafficking and Child rights.
- To organize such a public forum, HELP is networking with local organizations, Networks, NGOs and INGOs.
- Community Vigilant Groups: HELP had trained and helped Govt. Departments and INGOs, NGOs to initiate CVGs in several source villages in the state.
- Study and Evaluation: HELP had conducted different studies on the issues of trafficking in Coastal AP, and an evaluation of a couple of organizations at the request of some donor organizations.
- News Letter: HELP had brought out “Voice of The Voice Less”, a News letter in Telugu language on Child trafficking issues targeting the functionaries of the NGO, media & policy makers and planners.. The experiment is the first of its kind in the south. The ultimate aim of the news letter is to develop a forum to discuss the trafficking issues with the government, NGO, media and Public.