This school is turning India’s child sex workers into lawyers

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The U.N. estimates that there are three million sex workers in India, of which at least 40 per cent are children.

However, according to Telesur, due to the secretive and illicit nature of the practice, cases brought before the courts are often dropped due to lack of evidence and/or a lawyer that specialises in the issue.

In fact, less than 50 cases of forced child prostitution lead to prosecution each year.

Earlier this month, a new educational facility aimed at combatting the problem opened its doors.

School for Justice was opened by Free a Girl, movement devoted to ‘freeing young girls from forced prostitution and prosecuting the offenders.’

The school’s ultimate goal is to provide former victims with the education and tools needed to become lawyers, so they can challenge India’s failing justice system from the inside out.

The inaugural class will see 19 girls work towards law degrees that specialise in commercial sexual exploitation.

Speaking to Adweek, Bas Korsten, one of the founders of the project said, “these are real girls who have been through highly traumatising experiences and had lives that we could hardly imagine."

He added, “they are determined to succeed in their ambition to become lawyers, with the power to prosecute the criminals who once owned them."

The idea was born when Free a Girl approached J. Walter Thompson, a marketing and communications agency in Amsterdam, asking them to create a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the issue among India men.

The two parties then became inspired to take their idea to the next level and open School of Justice.

Free a Girl say this is just the first step in their efforts to combat child prostitution in India. The movement plans to launch a campaign across the country, highlighting the need to address the ongoing issue.

‘‘The School for Justice is an ambitious project – the class of 2017 is just the first step in our plan. We want all of India to get behind The School for Justice and support our cause – as we can’t do this alone.’’

‘’Ultimately we want governmental support and to build up a robust advocacy programme to push for law reform to make a positive change for India.’’

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