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From victims of child trafficking to attorneys at law

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The Free a Girl Foundation seeks to put power back in the hands of the abused

ABC News ran a piece, in 2013, about a young Indian girl named Durga, who was sold into slavery at the age of nine. She was forced to clean her “master’s” house while living in an environment where she was treated as a mere object, possessing no rights. When the police finally rescued her, she was 11-years-old, half dressed (they did not allow her more than underwear), and covered in burns from where she had been punished with hot oil for working too slowly.

She was sent to Rainbow Home, a children’s shelter run by the Catholic organization Bosco, which rehabilitated and cared for the traumatized girl. A year later Durga had friends and a home and was receiving an education; she was full of hope:

Durga also wants to meet a man like that who would like to marry her and wouldn’t beat her. She reflects for a moment and runs her fingers across her scarred lips. “And I’d like to be a lawyer,” she says

This is not an isolated instance, Fides.org reports over a million girls are victims of child prostitution in India. These girls are sold into slavery and live in a hell that includes 20 or more “customers” a day, beatings, starvation, and a general lack of regard for human rights.

A Dutch based organization called Free a Girl Foundation is working to raise awareness of this plight on civilization and expose the impunity of offenders:

The Free a Girl Movement fights against human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children and mobilises resources in the project countries itself. The Free a Girl Movement does this by raising awareness about the problem of child prostitution and the impunity of offenders of child prostitution. We believe there is a need to change the conversation, to mobilise society to rally behind the girls that have fallen victim to this crime, and to demand justice. It is important to break the silence in many countries about child prostitution and the need to prosecute the offenders.

Now, FGF has partnered with School for Justice to try and put power back in the hands of those who have had everything taken from them. 19 survivors of child trafficking will have access to the University and study law. Fides reports:

According to the founder of the project, the goal is not only to redeem these girls from prostitution networks but to transform them into the best lawyers and public prosecutors in the Country, in order to eradicate the impunity enjoyed by exploiters in India.

We hope that Durga, now 17, can find her way to the School for Justice and realize her dream of becoming a lawyer. The project will put powerful legal weapons in the hands of those who most intimately understand the necessity of putting an end to child trafficking.

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