Mothers and daughters build child protection systems to prevent harm in hotspot locations where children are most vulnerable to child trafficking, child marriage, hazardous work and abuse
Mothers and daughters across hotspots are finding ways to prevent child harm despite dangerous circumstances in their villages or urban bastis (slums). Aangan’s hotspot model selects priority locations in districts linked to trafficking, child marriage, hazardous work and harm (as per Government of India’s most backward regions data, UNODC and UNICEF). There are urban and rural hotspots and across these, families tend to be most-marginalized: natt and musahar groups are among the most excluded even within schedule caste groups, migrant workers, sex workers who have relocated, bonded laborers in brick kilns – these are deeply excluded families struggling to provide a protective environment for their children.
In 75 hotspots, Aangan trains a cohort of 1000 women to be barefoot child protection volunteers. In every hotspot, this group of women is galvanizing the community to keep 1000 most-vulnerable children safe from trafficking, hazardous work, child marriage and abuse. Here’s how: Family strengthening work through program PACT: 300 families are supported to recognize/prevent risk-related themes like unsafe migration, running away, early warning signs, financial crisis plans, supervision or access to government services or social protection schemes. Shakti Girl Safety Networks: Mother volunteers are ensuring 300 girls are making safety plans, doing empowerment and resilience building work, are well supported by adults and can thus resist pressure to drop out of school, marry or be sent away for trafficking/ work. Shakti girls are going beyond individual safety and designing and participating in girl safety community initiatives. For the first time this group of girls is collaborating with officials like police or ward officials to take up safety concerns. Chauraha Boy Group: 100 boy network members are also doing risk and resilience work along with gender based discussion to develop plans and keep safe. Government Activation: Together mothers and daughters are engaging 5 inert, inaccessible government officials so they can report risk, access services, opportunities or social protection schemes.
In 2016 mother volunteers will also use Aangan’s PACT mobile phone app, gather child safety data for the first time and present it to state government, with the aim of government collaboration and action on urgent issues. States where the app will be used: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan*, Bengal and Odisha.
*Work in Rajasthan will begin March 2016, while in other states it is on going since 2014.