Rehabilitation

Our colleagues in South Asia risk their lives every day when performing their work of freeing young girls from brothels. To give you an insight into how they work we have described their work methods. Although every situation is different, the following summary may serve as a general overview.

Pakhi (meaning "Bird" in Bangla) waits for customers on the 3rd floor of the Joinal Bari brothel in Faridpur, central Bangladesh. "I am 22 years old and I have been working in this brothel for two years. I was married for four years but my husband was crazy so I ran away. When I moved back in with my parents my uncle took me to Dhaka. He told me he was going to enroll me in a dance school but instead he sold me to a madame. I am not scared of anyone. Sometimes this place is okay, sometimes it's not, but anything is better than living with my husband. I don't talk with my parents anymore. I miss them, but what can I do? I feel like Alyea (my madame) is my own mother. I love her and this is like my family. I dream of being a madame someday.".About 800 women and girls live and work inside the bustling brothel, comprised of four buildings situated on an important trading route on the banks of the Padma river. Many of chowkri (bonded sex workers) are underage. Some of the girls are runaways who leave home to escape a bad situation or marriage, and end up on the brothels when they have no where else to go. Many others have been kidnapped and sold to a madame by a parent or relative. They must take on 5-10 clients per day, and most receive no pay because they must repay their debt to their madame. ..

Part II: Rehabilitation

  • The liberated girl is placed in one of our partners’ shelters or in government care.
  • The girl receives a medical check performed by a female doctor and gynecologist.
  • The girl’s age is determined.
  • If it is verified that the girl is of age and the home investigation report shows that her situation at home is safe, she is returned to her family. If, however, the girl is underage, her case will be transferred to the CWC (Child Welfare Committees), which is a child protective service that provides continuous support of the child and her case.
  • The girl receives extensive rehabilitation inside the shelter, such as medical care, trauma counselling, formal and non-formal education and vocational training.
  • The girl also receives legal aid: her case will be submitted to the court and she gets legal assistance so that she is well prepared for the hearing.
  • If the girl was trafficked from another country, she receives help from the legal department to apply for a passport and obtain other documents in order to be repatriated, see Part III Repatriation.