Child Sex Tourism

Model Intervention:- Creating a Child Sex Abuse Free Zone in Penthakotta, Puri especially from Child Sex Tourism.

The city of Puri has been getting increased recognition as a popular tourism destination. Most importantly the State Tourism Ministry as well as the District administration giving priority towards developing improved infrastructures in the city for this. It has resulted in the enormous advancements in terms of connecting road and transportation systems to the city during the last few couple of years. The local inhabitants of Puri town are also adapting to such developments and changes. The traditional cultural conservativeness of the native people is getting revised. The district administration has been bearing a very open and favourable attitude towards tourism. As a result, the number of hotels and restaurants has increased to double in its number within these few years. But the dark side of tourism sector has remained untouched as before. The impact over ground water, sanitation issues etc. has never been thought in an active way. On the other hand, there is increased menace of disaster in the district, which has the consequence of high magnitude of migrations of families from rural to urban areas. Families are migrating to city areas and young children are trafficked to areas where they could be engaged in some form of income generation activities, more seriously as the child labourers. Therefore, there are increase in the number of cases of ‘child abuse’ in the form of trafficking, child labour and in its worst form of sexual violence over children. Similar impact could be in Penthakotta, as the city side slum patch. Young children from this belt are also mobilised for trafficking or otherwise becoming easy prey of ‘child sex tourism’.

The project has been an intervention towards total elimination of ‘child abuse’ issues in the habitation. The year 2014-15 has its focus to start ‘prevention’ activities in the community, based on participatory models. 202 numbers of 5-12 years children are covered in the Child Support Centres with regular inputs to increase their competence and confidence to integrate in the formal education processes later. Regular motivational supports for these children enabled all of them to make retention successfully. Extracurricular activities, training of Martial Arts, Yoga, dance etc. were other sources of attraction for most of the children. Besides 80 numbers of children who have been identified to be in high risk situations are covered in ‘interpersonal and safety camp’ approach. These camps run for 2 months which are the high risk period for children to get in the clutch of sex tourism vulnerabilities.

Awareness building activities covered another 15 nearby hamlets, thus reaching another 2060 more populations directly through this process. Child Council (CC) has increased its visibility as a young children’s platform in the area. Its membership has increased to 45. Bi-monthly review meetings of the CC facilitated to build their capacity as a young children’s platform for the area. They organised cultural play in 3 locations, the content being based on real stories of child victimisation in Child Sex Tourism activities. The members of the CC took leadership in the observation of International Child Labour Day on 12th June in the community. Events like drawing competition was organised as a part of the observation of the day. The best conceptualised drawings were rewarded to increase the interest of the children. 30 selected members of the CC undergone training on Child abuse issue, its mitigation measures and Leadership building processes. The members have now started monitoring work as the young children’s vigilance group on the shore.
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