Learnings and looking forward

It has been an eventful year for the School for Justice programme after our launch in Mumbai last April. The initiative by Free a Girl supports young girls rescued from the dangers of forced child prostitution and provides them with education and rehabilitation to become part of the solution: by becoming a vital component in the prosecution process.

The last months have been full of learning and discoveries – the on-ground challenges of working on an initiative as sensitive and complicated as this to being inspired daily by the courage and resilience of the young people most affected by the problem. We take a lot of pride in highlighting the extent of the problem, helping to rescue girls and working towards a solution. The programme is equally proud of the wide support by like-minded, caring people from all walks of life including celebrities, media, influencers, voluntary organizations, and many others from within the civil society.

One of the challenges of this eventful year has been the realisation of just how ambitious our programme has been from the outset. The level of skills and resilience needed by the girls to follow a university education programme in Law, studying in a non-native language (English) – whilst in the glare of the public eye – is quite incredible. We’ve understood this challenge and, with this in mind, we plan to broaden the progamme and make it more accessible by offering other types of legal training in the coming years. These plans are still in development, but when they are concrete, we will make an announcement.

So we truly salute the girls affected by this issue who continue to work hard and inspire everyone associated with the School for Justice.

Our own on-ground team of Free a Girl India and partner ecosystem in India continues to evolve as we deepen our relationships with all partners in the country. We take our excellent learnings from the recent past as we move into 2018. Our focus will remain the same: to rescue more girls from commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC) and work closely with them to rehabilitate them – our goal is to support them in all possible ways to help them become part of the solution. We also look forward to publishing our own study on CSEC that will offer recommendations that would help improve conviction rates in the country.

There will undoubtedly be more from School for Justice in the new year. The problem of impunity in this regard is still tremendous, so there is still a lot of work to be done.

2018 will see us bring in more young girls into the programme, we will strengthen our team and extend support from Free a Girl the Netherlands and we look forward to the support of the many stakeholders who told us that they will help us tackle one of the most challenging problems of our time. We will announce a new Free a Girl India CEO in the new year and some developments on the operational front.

Whether you are a partner, supporter, reporter or legal expert, we look forward to working with you in 2018.

If you have any questions about our work in India, please don’t hesitate to contact me at: nicole.franken@freeagirl.nl