This Program In India Is Training Sex Trafficking Survivors To Be Lawyers
Welcome to the School For Justice.
The School For Justice is unlike any school you’re probably familiar with—it trains survivors of sex trafficking to work in the legal system, helping to bring perpetrators down. Experts estimate that millions of girls and women are victims of sex trafficking in India. This school wants to help as many as they can in their search for justice.
Opened in April thanks to the Dutch anti-trafficking group Free a Girl, School For Justice provides a combination of funding and other support (including housing, food and transport) to victims of underage sex trafficking so they can prepare for university and earn a bachelor’s degree in law. All of the members live in a communal house, run by the partner organization Sanlaap, which rescues girls from prostitution and helps them find housing and education. In the communal house, students take classes in English and basic law, in addition to getting assistance applying to and attending university.
“I want to fight against child sexual exploitation and help others like me,” survivor Sangita told the Huffington Post in an email. “I am excited about becoming a lawyer and this is why I joined the School for Justice.”
India is well aware of its trafficking problem, and there have been a number of strong laws enacted in order to stem the tide of victims. Unfortunately, they are poorly enforced; in 2014, more than 3,000 human trafficking cases (including 2,604 sex trafficking cases) were investigated, according to the State Department. But a whopping 77 percent of traffickers were acquitted and walked free.
The school was born after the Dutch anti-trafficking group Free a Girl hired the communications agency J. Walter Thompson to create an ad campaign that raised awareness about child sex trafficking in India.
“You’re not going to change the system with 19 girls,” J. Walter Thompson executive Bas Korsten told the Huffington Post. “But you get the ball rolling: They become change agents, the issue gets talked about, international pressure builds on the system for it to change.”
To see what the school does, click below to watch the video: