Empowering Girls

Girls’ Exploitation: A Global Crisis Calling for Action

Life at home for girls in impoverished families can be challenging, but unfortunately, the wider world exposes them to the distressing reality of girls’ exploitation. When they venture into towns and cities, they become vulnerable to various forms of abuse, including bonded servitude and sexual predation.

Trapped in a cycle of poverty, some families in Asia resort to borrowing money for survival, only to fall victim to coercion by lenders who exploit them for labor in order to repay their debts. Tragically, these debts are rarely fully settled, perpetuating generations of families living in bondage. This cruel system, reminiscent of modern-day slavery, affects hundreds of thousands of individuals, both male and female, including girls, who endure laborious conditions in mines, mills, factories, farms, and brick kilns across South Asia and other regions.[1]     

The prostitution trade takes the concept of modern slavery to an even more sinister level. Instead of experiencing the joys of childhood, girls are forced into a life of relentless sexual abuse, devoid of love, compassion, dignity, or hope.

The sexual exploitation of girls has garnered global attention, persisting not only in developing countries but also in regions like America[2] and Europe[3]. A 2020 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime revealed that North America and Europe had the highest number of trafficking victims, with girls being prominent among them.[4] Another UN report states that 79 percent of human trafficking cases involve sexual exploitation, and approximately 20 percent of trafficking victims worldwide are children. In certain areas of Asia and Africa, this number reaches 100 percent.[5]

These innocent girls are treated as commodities rather than valued human beings, bought, used, and discarded when they are no longer profitable. Poverty exacerbates their vulnerability, as they are often lured into servitude with false promises of employment, only to find themselves trapped in the sex trade. Perpetrators employ threats of violence or deportation to keep their victims subservient.

While girls worldwide face numerous risks and challenges, there is hope. Governments are addressing abusive practices within their borders, and organizations like the United Nations are shedding light on these issues. Private, nongovernmental organizations at grassroots levels are also working to improve the lives of these vulnerable individuals, recognizing the inherent worth, dignity, respect, and love due to girls as full human beings. Although not widely reported, their efforts have yielded encouraging results.

In a world where countless children are denied the opportunity to learn, GFA World strives to reshape the narrative, especially for girls. Education should be accessible to all, regardless of their circumstances. By sponsoring a girl, you become a catalyst for transformation, unlocking the gateway to a brighter future. Education serves as her foundation, enabling her to acquire vital skills, pursue higher learning, and break free from the chains of poverty, bonded labor, and exploitation. Together, let us empower these girls, affirming their worth and embracing a future filled with hope. Will you sponsor a girl today?

Learn more about empowering girls

[1] What is Bonded Labor? Anti-Slavery. https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/bonded-labour/. Accessed May 26, 2022.
[2] Human Trafficking in the U.S. Deliver Fund. https://deliverfund.org/facts-about-human-trafficking-in-the-us/. April 17, 2020.
[3] Trafficking in Persons. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/glotip.html. Accessed May 28, 2022.
[4] Trafficking in Persons. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/glotip.html. Accessed May 28, 2022.
[5] UNODC report on human trafficking exposes modern form of slavery. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/global-report-on-trafficking-in-persons.html. Accessed May 26, 2022.