It’s a long winding, tough road to justice for CSEC Survivors, Reveals Free a Girl Study

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of children (CSEC) is the worst form of human slavery. While many socio-cultural and economic variables contribute to children’s ever-rising demand, each one who falls prey to CSEC in India fights deceit, impunity and numerous hurdles on their road to justice.

In order to find many such invaluable insights for the government and non-government stakeholders in India to advance the cause of ending CSEC, Free a Girl commissioned an in-depth study and analysis, titled the ‘Road to Justice’. Executed in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), the ‘Road to Justice’study recognizes the socio-political background on which CSEC as a crime thrives in the country and identifies relevant strategic interventions to provide recommendations for an accountable and effective process for justice.

It highlights an alarmingly disproportionate and low rate of convictions while bringing forth recommendations from important stakeholders within the system to enable a more effective process to deliver justice. This first-of-its-kind study is based on in-depth discussions with several stakeholders identifying the gaps in conviction, beginning with the survivor, and all others involved in the process of delivering justice – lawyers, NGOs that work with survivors, social activists and social workers.

The report further reveals that the main target of this organized crime are minors and young girls in particular and that traffickers are motivated by high profits and the low risks considering the abysmally low conviction rates.

Additionally, the various NGOs involved in the rescue and rehabilitation process face challenges finding committed lawyers at an affordable cost. About 82% of the brothel owners admitted to selling girls younger than 16 years of age. Despite the magnitude of the problem, there were only 55 convictions that took place in 2015. These numbers emphasize the urgent need for the entire system to come together and fight the grave impunity surrounding this crime in India.

The ‘Road to Justice’ therefore recommends a multi-disciplinary approach to improve coordination between the different stakeholders to develop partnership and mutual understanding between them for better outcomes and quicker accomplishments.

Download the complete report here