child protection

Human Trafficking is a major issue in Northern Thailand. Traffickers prey upon the marginalized populations, especially children. These children often live in disrupted and unsafe households, putting them at high risk of being trafficke

The Keep Girls Safe Project

ADRA Thailand’s Keep Girls Safe (KGS) project works in collaboration with government agencies, local non-government organizations and community groups to raise awareness and reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to sexual exploitation and human trafficking. The project provides education opportunities, a shelter for high risk girls, plus youth clubs and community activities which provide awareness and knowledge raising of human trafficking issues.

Thailand suffers from a drastic difference in the standard of living between rural and developed areas of the country. Especially in the northern region of the country many live well below the poverty line with an alarmingly low standard of living. The average per capita income in Thailand is $3,251(USD) per year but in Chiang Rai province, ADRA Thailand has found some annual incomes to be as low as $500(USD).

Thailand is a source, transit route and destination for trafficked persons*. Here, trafficking is done for both commercial sex exploitation and cheap labor. Families in the rural regions already trapped in a cycle of poverty and debt are often the targets of traffickers. Families survive usually as subsistence farmers or day laborers with few work opportunities. Many of the families along the border do not have birth certificates or family documents, making going to school impossibility. Drug and alcohol abuse also contribute to debt. All these factors make these families targets for recruiters who focus on the poor, rural areas of Chiang Rai.

KGS is part of ADRA Thailand’s Human Trafficking Vulnerability Reduction Program. The program includes Keep Girls Safe and the Trafficking Risk Reduction project (TRR – see more under the Programs Menu of this website). Community based traffic prevention activities are conducted by both TRR and KGS staff members. These activities include peer education training, child rights and trafficking awareness raising at target schools, networking with partner organizations, and work with local authorities to improve systems and policies.

The history of the KGS project goes back to 2004. The project has two parts; a shelter for 30 high risk girls and education scholarships for 100 girls in the Education Assistance Program. The girls in the shelter have come from situations of abuse, orphaned or abandoned or have been rescued from trafficking situations. This puts them at “High Risk”. ADRA Thailand has trained caregivers on staff to meet the physiological needs these girls face. The ADRA shelter focuses solely on these high risk cases. Additionally, ADRA plans to reach 2,500 students with anti-trafficking awareness training through Girls’ Clubs and other community youth activities.

Project Details

Location Mae Lao & Chiang Sean District, Chiang Rai
Donors ADRA Switzerland, ADRA Norway, ADRA Germany, ADRA Australia, ADRA International

Beneficiaries 175

Budget: 522,778 USD

Duration: 07/01/15 – 30/06/18

Situation

Life can be difficult and dangerous for young girls living in the hills of northern Thailand. Poor, marginalised and frequently taken advantage of, these young girls from the hill tribes have suffered at the hands of human traffickers for too long. Lack of awareness, language challenges and economic poverty open these ethnic minorities to the ever growing human trafficking underworld of trickery and modern slavery. This issue undermines the basic rights of the individual and is not getting the attention or backing required. Through its integrated human trafficking vulnerability reduction program, ADRA Thailand uses numerous initiatives to address the core issues affecting the people groups affected, including the operation of a shelter for vulnerable girls.

approach

Keep Girls Safe program was established by ADRA Thailand in 2004 in a response to the human trafficking dilemma which faces many of the vulnerable and marginalised ethnic minorities in northern Thailand. Young girls who have either been exposed to the dark side of human trafficking or who would likely be victims have found security and wellbeing through having a safe place to live a normal life and learn through a strong educational and work program. Since its inception over 200 girls, from the ages of 8 to 19 have been given another opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest – to thrive and be of service to others.

operations

Presently Keep Girls Safe provides a loving home and environment for 27 young girls to lead a normal life and grow up to be respected and valued citizens. During their stay in the shelter, they are provided with basic accommodation, nutritious food and a secure environment along with meeting formal education standards set by the Government of Thailand. When not in school, the girls are involved in preparing meals, taking care of the shelter grounds and assisting in the agricultural program. In addition, many of the girls are involved in learning to play a musical instrument or sing. They are also active in leading out at the local Adventist church.

Changing the world, one life at a time

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