Kajal was only six years old when her grandmother left her and her sister at the Old Delhi Railway Station in India. Her sister was quickly sold off to someone, leaving a young Kajal alone. Vulnerable and scared, she was left to sleep in the railway while working as a carrier. She was lucky to meet one of PCI’s employees from a nearby drop-in center before she fell victim to a predator’s advances. Left in those circumstances, she would have been incredibly vulnerable to human trafficking and physical abuse.
Whether domestically or across borderlines, human trafficking is a complete violation of a human’s rights, dignity, health and freedom.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of sexual slavery, exploitation or forced labor, and is a severe violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children are abducted by traffickers in almost every country in the world.
Human Trafficking Statistics
According to statistics compiled by the UN’s Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT), an estimated 2.5 million people are forced into labor as a result of trafficking, with over 50% in Asia and the Pacific. Of that amount, a shocking 1.2 million children are estimated to be trafficked each year.
Globally, 43% of trafficking victims are used for forced commercial sexual exploitation, which can be prostitution, sex shows (public or private), production and distribution of pornography and sex tourism. 98% of these victims are women and girls.
Women and girls are the most vulnerable group overall and domestically, 100,000 to 300,000 are estimated are sold for sex in the United States alone. There are many human trafficking organizations around the world that are helping victims and their families. PCI has been proactive about making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable, a theme that runs through each of our programs.
Human Trafficking Programs
PCI’s San Diego-based Girls Only program focuses on empowering young girls through the promotion of positive self-esteem, development of life skills, and inspiring positive motivation. Girls Only seeks to build resiliency in girls by providing them with inspiring mentors and collaborative peer guidance, interactive lesson plans and a place to be understood and feel safe. This unique program encourages young girls to learn to love and honor themselves, giving them the resources to find alternatives to the kinds of abusive relationships that often lead to involvement with trafficking, substance abuse, sexual assault and, eventually the criminal justice system.
Explore the world of a girl who is at a higher risk of being trafficked through this virtual reality video:
Children and Youth Legacy Programs
PCI’s Children and Youth Legacy Programs in India provide services to children and youth through two drop-in centers and a vocational training center, which are located in high-risk neighborhoods throughout Delhi. Through tailored vocational training programs, apprenticeships, and job placement, PCI helps to create employment opportunities for about 700 young women each year who attend the vocational training center.
Women Empowered (WE)
Across the world, women are empowering themselves through PCI’s WE savings and social empowerment groups. When women have the resources and confidence to change their lives, they gain control of their future while improving the community around them.
In collaboration with Bi-Lateral Safety Corridor Coalition (BSCC), PCI has organized community coordination human trafficking prevention meetings that bring together survivors of trafficking, victim shelters and service providers, the FBI, law enforcement, researchers, education officials, advocates for women and children, media, faith-based groups, human rights advocates and Baja California officials. Human trafficking stories bring understanding to the problem as well as create an opportunity for dialogue.
Working towards a brighter future
PCI’s programs that focus on the empowerment of the most vulnerable populations are an advancement in fighting human trafficking. We know that women and girls who lack access to resources such as housing, education and income are at increased risk of sexual violence and assault. By improving their circumstances through work towards eliminating gender discrimination and improving gender equity, we can create a brighter future for all.