Innovative Program Empowers Sex Trafficking Survivors with Law Degrees

May 9, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

India is considered a “major hub” in the international sex trade, according to a New York Times editorial. And while the government is working to enact change, the reality is that sex trafficking is still a massive problem in India thanks to extremely low investigations, prosecutions and convictions into human trafficking crimes. In fact, 16 million of India’s estimated 20 million commercial sex workers are women and girls, according to a recent report from The National. And yet only two out of every five cases end in convictions.

Now, a new program not only offers hope to survivors, but empowers them to join in the fight against sex trafficking. Here’s a closer look.

A Path to Justice

The Free a Girl Movement, which aims to fight human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children by raising awareness about the issue, offers education, training and support to rescued girls through its School for Justice. This innovative, crowd-funded program not only guides girls along the path to becoming lawyers, but also toward becoming “the driving force themselves in putting the offenders behind bars and ensuring that justice can be served.”

As one student in the program told The National, “"I will become a lawyer and take up cases of trafficking victims and fight them effectively. I was rescued 13 years ago but my case is still going on. I often feel I am the accused and not the victim. I do not want other trafficking victims to go through this. The brothel madam and my trafficker have remained free all these years that I have spent at a shelter home. I want traffickers to fear law, and me.”

Joining the Fight

Interested in adding your talents and passion to the fight against human trafficking?  Lawyers with expertise in the area of fighting child prostitution help steer both the School for Justice and the Free a Girl Movement.

As the problem of sex trafficking is not limited to India, however, there are opportunities all over the globe for lawyers to take on key roles in helping to protect the victims of human trafficking and prosecute perpetrators who might otherwise remain free.

Read more about studying law in India.





Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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