Vijayawada

With HELP, rescued sex workers are back in school

NGO’s sustained efforts to get birth certificate for them pays off

Pushed into commercial sex work for no fault of theirs, a group of rescued minors pursue education without any hassle, thanks to the Mothers Committee, constituted by HELP-Girls Advocacy Alliance(GAA) here.

But this was not before the NGO partner of Childline India Foundation intervened and helped the girls, who were without any age proof, get the much-needed birth certificate insisted upon by school authorities for admission.

Those who took care of the rescued girls in the age group of eight to 12 ran from pillar to post for months as it proved to be a big challenge for them in getting the all-important document without knowing parentage of the children.

The NGO which works actively among survivors of human trafficking took up the matter with the Ongole Municipal Corporation, revenue officials at various levels and the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) for over a month. The sustained efforts paid dividend with the five of them joining a municipal school here and three others a private school close to their dwelling after the civic body issuing the certificate, says HELP Programme Officer B.V. Sagar. In the case of children of sex workers, they have a problem in declaring the name of father.

After due proceedings conducted by revenue officials from the level of Revenue Division Officer down to the Village Revenue Officer and based on declaration made in court, the girls were issued birth certificates, according to Ongole Municipal Commissioner S.Venkatakrishna.

Rehabilitation of girls forced into flesh trade continues to be a big challenge even now as compensation under Andhra Pradesh Victims Compensation Scheme is provided only in cases registered under IPC 376 (rape), HELP Director N.V.S. Rammohan says, while pleading for decriminalisation of sex work and survivor-centric approach.

Even those booked under Immoral Traffic Prevention Act should be provided compensation so that they could lead a reformed life. Families of rescued girls who were pushed into commercial sex work should be given livelihood support, he added.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 12:27:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/with-help-rescued-sex-workers-are-back-in-school/article25867391.ece

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