The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is widespread in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. The majority of victims are girls. Factors such as poverty, lack of education and the low social status of girls make them even more vulnerable.
To tackle this problem, Free a Girl has joined forces with the Malala Fund, founded by the Nobel Peace Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai. The three-year Educate, Empower, Lead programme (2017-2020), funded by the National Postcode Lottery of the Netherlands, provides education for rescued girls and girls at risk of sexual exploitation. The programme helps girls in India, Bangladesh and Nepal to find a voice and stand up for their rights.
Co-founded by Malala Yousafzai – the Pakistani activist, student and youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize-winner – the Malala Fund works for a world where all girls can learn and live without fear. Malala Yousafzai began speaking out for girls’ education at the age of eleven. When she was fifteen, she was shot in the head by the Taliban because she believed that girls in her community had the right to go to school and dared to speak out on the Internet and through interviews calling for change. Malala recovered, continued her campaign, and now heads a global movement to raise support for girls’ education. Find out more at malala.org.
Educate, Empower, Lead builds on the successful #StandwithMalala campaign, which was held by Free a Girl’s partners and the Malala Fund in India in 2016.
Educate, Empower, Lead aims to empower girls who are at risk of, or who have fallen victim to, sexual exploitation in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
We achieve this by:
- Strengthening the girls’ self-confidence and leadership skills, and raising their awareness of the importance of education.
- Working to increase access to education and provide the girls with support and coaching.
- Involving government officials and other key community figures in raising support for girls’ education, particularly for girls at risk or girls who have fallen victim to commercial sexual exploitation.
Educate, Empower, Lead will run from 1 August 2017 until 31 July 2020