India: Forced Labor and Trafficking

India doors

In India, behind closed doors, there are little girls who experience violence every day. They are given little nutrition, kept out of school and forced to work with little or no wage. They are abused and exploited on a daily basis. Girls are taken from their families, villages and communities. Most are never heard from again or are simply forgotten. I have sat with some of these girls.

I have heard their stories.

In some parts of India, girls are born into brothels and “bred” for a life of abuse and exploitation. The demand for domestic labor and illicit sex is on the rise. Poverty, son preference and India’s caste system are all contributing factors to a young girl’s vulnerability to being sold into sex slavery or coerced into domestic servitude. According to the 2013 Global Slavery Index, India has one of the highest number of slaves in the world. These stories of everyday violence are often untold. At Girls’ Globe, we understand  these are not just women’s issues. They are global injustice issues.

india floor
There is true beauty when a girl’s life is changed.

I believe there is hope.

Throughout my travels across India, I am  inspired by women and girls who are creating change in their communities. They are fighting on the front lines with zeal and determination. Women and girls at the grassroots level are bringing healing, restoration and freedom to those enslaved. I will continue to encourage, support and champion their efforts.

This is my mission to help fight everyday violence.

When I look into the faces of girls who have been abused and abandoned, I see change-makers.There are so many ways to create change and join the fight to combat violence against women. When I think about Girls’ Globe and the online community, I think about the thousands of you who ARE change agents.

Join the Twitter chat hosted today, Friday, February 7, 1-2pm EST by Girls’ Globe and International Justice Mission on everyday violence against women. Use #LocustEffect and #EverydayVAW.

The Girl Child

The girl child. Why is she unique?

In this year’s United Nations’ resolution on the Girl Child, the General Assembly, and thus, the international community has recognized, noted, and expressed their deep concern on issues of discrimination of the girl child.

There are many issues at stake. Girls are more likely to be discriminated and abused. Girls are more likely to be forced into child marriage, leading to a greater risk of an early pregnancy and maternal death. Further, girls are less likely to attend school, complete an education, and the list continues.

Girls’ Globe would like to highlight the existence of complete discrimination against girls. In some parts of the world girls are unwanted, undesired and seen as unnecessary. The effect is large-scale abortion of female fetuses and a systematic murder of female infants.

Noting with concern that in some parts of the world, men outnumber women as
a result, in part, of harmful attitudes and practices, such as female genital
mutilation, son preference, which results in female infanticide and prenatal sex

Girls’ Globe would not only like us to note with concern, but would like all readers to take action. Take action to raise awareness, encourage grassroots movements and influence policy-makers to take a stand against this “gendercide”.

  1. RAISE AWARENESS. In the coming year, Shadowline Films will be releasing the documentary film, “It’s a girl!” They say these are “the three deadliest words in the world”. Girls’ Globe would like to thank Shadowline Films for raising awareness on this issue. See the trailer here:
  2. ENCOURAGE GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS: Design for Change is a movement encouraging children to shape the society they would like to live in, and to make a change that benefit others. One of the winners of India’s Design for Change school challenge was created by school girls who had decided to take a stand against the lack of girls in their village. See their introduction here:
    We would like to thank Design for Change for encouraging children to take action. It is fantastic to see.

Awareness and encouragement can change social norms, leading to a change in society. A society were the girl child is wanted, desired and far more than necessary! These are just two examples of what is being done to change the situation for the girl child. We will keep you posted on this issue. Let’s give the girl child the attention she deserves.

And the international community continues:

“Urges all States to enact and enforce legislation to protect girls from all
forms of violence and exploitation, including female infanticide and prenatal sex
selection, female genital mutilation, rape, domestic violence, incest, sexual abuse,
sexual exploitation, child prostitution and child pornography, trafficking and forced
migration, forced labour, and forced marriage, as well as marriage under legal age, and to develop age-appropriate safe, confidential and disability-accessible
programmes and medical, social and psychological support services to assist girls
who are subjected to violence and discrimination…”

Let’s keep our leaders accountable and work together towards a globe free from all forms of discrimination of the girl child.

Do you have other movements you would like to share with us? Or do you have knowledge of other organizations working to raise awareness on discrimination of the girl child? Please post links in the comments field below.