We deserved to access social entitlements

In facilitation of HELP, VIMUKTHI (A State level forum of survivors of trafficking and victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation) advocated with duty bearers for their social entitlements which resulted in a total of 190 rescued survivors of trafficking and victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE)/Sex Workers have accessed 36 ration cards, 103 house pattas, 78 Aadhaar cards, 48 bank accounts and 06 single women/widow pensions even in the absence of necessary identity proofs which are needed to sanction such state support services.

They have submitted a representation to the Chief Minister, Minister – Civil Supplies and also Commissioner – State Public Distribution System exploring their challenges in accessing dry ration without ration cards. As VIMUKTHI sensitised the state level authorities regarding their vulnerability and social stigma and discrimination, the department understood and realised their difficulties and has sanctioned required social entitlements.

Local to vocal – Survivor leaders A step ahead

125 journalists (Both District and State Level media representatives) have published 25 special stories and articles on different issues affecting rescued survivors of human trafficking and victims of CSE that brought attention among policy makers and planners in the state of Andhra Pradesh. HELP has built the leadership qualities of members of local survivor collectives through different capacity building trainings mainly in the area of advocacy and lobbying who in turn became active vocal persons. They learnt how to make best use of media as an effective advocacy tool.

Survivor leaders have raised their voices in front of media without hesitation and cracked all their issues and challenges in terms of access to their rights and entitlements as well as criminal justice services. In fact, the issues of rescued survivors and the need to address their issues and challenges is not at all a concern of priority for policy makers and planners. But, the robust media coverage indeed brought a move among them at least to think at once.

Financial literacy & savings – Robust Remedyto Socio-economic empowerment

98 survivors and victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation joined in 13 Self Help Groups and have accessed bank loans. 10 survivors have started petty businesses such as vegetable selling, tiffin centres, flower stalls, rice shops and so on.

HELP imparted orientations on financial literacy, group dynamics, leadership qualities, noticing merits and de-merits of group and also need and active engagement of members in the group activities, adopting Panchasutras with effective internal functional management of the group. Members of survivor collectives especially who joined in to SHGs have been facilitated with the linkages with the MEPMA (Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas) and DRDA (District Rural Development Agency) which are the nodal agencies for promoting and developing these groups.

You Report – We React: A Community Based Defence Mechanism by survivors

HELP initiated an Integrated Crisis Response System by training and involving survivor leaders as human rights supporters to defend the violence incidents against their community members. 30 crisis incidents have been attended by the crisis response coordinator assisted by the VIMUKTHI leaders.

The system facilitates immediate response over phone or in person (based on the distance and its gravity) to a crisis incident against the survivors to mitigate its immediate affect. This innovative intervention has built a trust among survivors on LN programme and VIMUKTHI leaders for its rapid response and for boosting up enough courage and confidence among them to access immediate moral and legal services.

Collaboration catalysed in Effective Service Delivery to children

A Total of 4500 children in need of care were outreached both from Institutional and Non-Institutional care and protection services. Prepared and promoted Standard Operating Procedure for CWCs for effective service delivery for child victims of trafficking and other vulnerabilities. Trained 600 police personnel, 30 District Probation Officers, 55 Child Welfare Committee members on Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and other associated legislations of Child Protection. Facilitated to re-integrate a total of 1397 children from 3 Govt run Juvenile Homes.

HELP built and strengthened collaboration with Dept. of Women Development and Child Welfare, Police and Judiciary as well as Dept. of Juvenile Welfare and Correctional Services, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh. The collaboration has impacted in strengthening juvenile justice system in the state through improved capacities of Child Welfare Committees and Child Care Institutions.

Trained Youth advocates acted as change agents

HELP has imparted series trainings to 111 Youth group leaders built with their capacities as change agents in prevention of child marriages and child trafficking through promotion of secondary education and job oriented vocational trainings in the state of Andhra Pradesh under Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA) programme. The trained youth became advocates and sensitized 1430 members of their youth clubs/associations/groups/networks on prevention of child marriages, child trafficking. 4306 community members including parents, boys and girls and community elders, PRI members and Village Level Child Protection Committee members have been sensitised through rallies, public meetings & mass awareness campaigns on occasional days.

45 CSOs joined as part of GAA network and incorporated GAA themes i.e., Child Marriages, Child Trafficking, Secondary Education and Job Oriented Vocational Training in to their work priorities. As an impact of youth advocacy action a total of 42 GAA network NGOs in Andhra Pradesh have reformed their institutional policies and are adopted Child Safety policy and Gender Policy. A total of 373 Govt. officials have been sensitised on the issues of prevention of Child Marriage and Child Trafficking and Promotion of Secondary Education for Girls and Job Oriented Vocational Training for Young Women.