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Combating Sex Trafficking

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"COOL MEN DON'T BUY SEX" - Cool banne ke liye; Kameez Nahin, Tameez Chahiye

One of the largest smuggling businesses in the world generates 10 to 12 billion dollars every year. It is sex trafficking. Every minute 2 children are being prepared for sexual exploitation. The average age for children forced to service men is 12 years.

43% of the women are drawn into prostitution as children. Average age of children being pulled into Prostitution in India is 9-13 years. 85% of these prostitute children develop STD, HIV and AIDS. Number of child prostitutes increases by 10 % every year with India having as many as 1.3 million of such children.

When did children become 'commodities'? Kids belong to school and to not to Brothels. Right to Education has been enforced but where is it implemented? Forced to work among other women sex slaves, children are not only stripped of their clothes, but also of their innocence.

98% of the women are into this profession by compulsion, so the contention that they are into this profession by choice is by and large wrong. It is their misfortune that they are engaged in this due to extreme penury. The vice of sex trafficking is prevalent in our society because considerable demand exists for this vice. Given this backdrop, the demand should be first stopped, to curtail the havoc for supply. Only when there is a demand, will there be a supply. Hence the perpetrators of the crime, who create the demand earning crores of rupees, are the ones against whom stringent action must be taken and not the victims of trafficking. CURB the DEMAND, CURB SEX TRAFFICKING. Decriminalize the victims and criminalize the perpetrators. Current law, which treats the victims as the criminals, must be amended. Only then will the market for Prostitution be curbed. Endless victims can be criminalized but the perpetrators will still exist and continue this huge business of Trafficking. Hence the need of the hour is to put a full stop to the demand side.

Various NGOs have taken measures to address this issue. One such NGO being "ApneAap", has started a campaign called "COOL MEN DON'T BUY SEX", with the objective of spreading public awareness and promote the passage of an amendment to the Indian anti-trafficking law, ITPA, to punish pimps and buyers and not victims.

To achieve the objectives of the campaign, we plan to implement it in two phases.

Phase-1: In phase-I we plan to reach out to the masses, to the society, to the common man to generate awareness of the campaign and sex trafficking.

Phase-2: Here we plan to reach out to the government for Legislative reform with the help of signature petition.


Awareness, Marketing and Promotion Strategy

To create awareness among people, we plan out our initiatives in following way:-

1. Traditional Media

a. TV and radio networks to be approached for free airtime for Public Service Announcement of the campaign. National and local news channels to hold debate and discussion on how the campaign will bring the change. And through these advertisements we will promote the campaign website. Since the Indian culture is conservative and not very open to topics such as sex-trafficking, the content should not be explicit and bold. The same message can be as well conveyed in a much subtle manner to suit the Indian family ethos.

b. Print Media - The hot-pick magazines and newspapers should have a dedicated column citing the victim's first hand traumatizing experience and how the helping hands of NGOs have shown her the other side of the dark tunnel of life and help her live a life of dignity in the society. Following the story will be the campaign line "COOL MEN DON'T BUY SEX" and ask the interested readers to take part in campaign to promote awareness.

2. Online Media - Although there is an existing page dedicated to the campaign in the website, there is a need to provide the multi-linguistic platform ensuring people's involvement in the campaign is not restricted by language. This website will facilitate opinions, blogs and tweets about the importance of the campaign to bring about awareness on social trafficking.

Although currently there is a facility for online voting in Signature Campaign page, the option for voting should be provided right on top of the page, next to Donate Now, as "VOTE NOW- One vote is equivalent to saving one child's life!"

Social Network - Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter should be integrated with the campaign website. This way, the moment people who visit our website can easily login via that networking site and post their comments, cast their votes or give any sort of feedback, that act will be posted on his/her Facebook wall or Twitter timeline. This way even other friends/followers of the person will know about the campaign, if they are unaware. In this way, the need to fill the credentials in the voting page will be eliminated, which enables the person to be more proactive in voting and hence the promotion of the campaign.

3. Campaigns - The campaign co-ordinators from the NGO will visit selected B-schools and Law colleges at various locations to make them aware of our campaign. And in turn students from these schools and colleges will spread awareness among the masses by holding various activities such as speeches, selling t-shirts and caps with logos, along with the artefacts made by the victims.

4. Plays -

a. Rural segment - As we are aware that, several plays are conducted by the rural people as a part of entertainment, we will approach them to enact plays on trafficking and our campaign. In this way, our message can reach the rural counterparts through a medium which is more viable.

b. Urban Segment - Drama Theatres and Acting schools will be approached for participating in our campaign. Theatres will include plays on sex-trafficking. And Acting school students can take sex-trafficking as a short term project and thus bringing awareness in the society. In this way various road shows and street plays will be enacted to promote our campaign. Public awareness to be made that real criminals are the buyers and perpetrators, not the victims, who are mostly in this profession out of compulsion, not by choice.

5. Art exhibition organizers will be approached to display the art exhibits relating to the issues of sex trafficking and also display the paintings made by the victims.

6. Education - To educate individuals in risk areas, esp. the backward rural



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