Rescue sex workers & at-risk children in India
We provide support, empowerment, emergency rescue & healthcare to sex workers, including trafficked minors, transgenders, MSM and those affected by HIV. We enable them to become their own agents for social change, breaking the crippling cycles of exploitation. By sheltering & educating their children we prevent 2nd-generation prostitution & empower the same children to support their mothers to leave the sex trade & many also help other exploited women through social work.
Trafficking & prostitution is a US$1 billion business & an estimated 1.2 million children are in prostitution in India. Children of sex workers are exposed to their mother’s profession, addictions, violence & child labour. While girls are groomed in the business, boys often become pimps. 75% of our sex workers, including transgender & MSM, are illiterate, unable to break free from their bondage, more likely to catch HIV & less likely to own identity papers.
We distribute condoms & conduct health check-ups without judgement serving over 3,000 female sex workers (FSWs), MSM & transgenders. Peer educators, recruited from our FSWs, help identify, rescue & rehabilitate trafficked FSWs. Our shelter home provides care to 250 of their children, rape & trafficked survivors, orphans & those living with HIV. They are safe, happy, active & healthy, participating in school, vocational training, extra-curricular, sports, cultural & recreational activities.
Snehalaya enables sex workers to become agents for social change, with 2 FSWs on our board since 1989. There is 100% condom usage & no underage or 2nd-generation sex workers & we have reduced STD rates to some of the lowest in India. In 2006, a rescue of 2 minors exposed & secured double life sentences for 20 highly influential figures. We have sheltered & educated over 1,000 vulnerable children & with COVID affecting their income have helped 35 FSWs find new vocations.