PSGR Board Chairperson Mrs. Margaret Ali, reading a statement before members of the press, to mark 2018 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons commemoration
Track stations like this are the harbour for trafficking and prostitution!
PSGR has implemented a project aimed to raise awareness and empower girls against sex trafficking. Cases of sex trafficking in Malawi are increasing everyday. This is specifically for purposes of sex tourism, prostitution, etc. In some cases, girls below 13 years are kept in brothels across Malawi for commercial sex purposes. Women and girls are also trafficked across the porous borders of Malawi to South Africa and other European countries.
There is continued need for awareness raising and capacity building of law enforcement agencies like police investigators, prosecutors and magistrates especially on how to apply the new enacted Trafficking In Person Act (TIPA).
PSGR is collaborating with the police to free girls in brothels. The recent tourism boom and proliferation of lodges and hotels has increased the number of brothels across Malawi. Nigerian syndicates have taken advantage and have opened secret brothels especially in the Capital Lilongwe, where they recruit girls, groom them before trafficking them to South Africa and other European countries.
PSGR recently engaged in a study with other like-minded organizations, to verify the presence of children in brothels and other risky places. Findings of the study were quite overwhelming. It was indeed verified that there are so many girls, below the age of 18 who are in prostitution. Many of these have small babies and that also use drugs to serve as many male clients as possible!
PSGR is progressively engaging in efforts aimed to fight child marriages. Malawi is one of the countries with highest rates of child marriages. Studies indicate that 50% of girls below the age of 18 are either married or in union.
With funds from Royal Norwegian Embassy through NGO Gender Coordination Network, we give children of Blantyre Rural North the opportunity to celebrate the International Day of the African Child which falls on 16 June every year. Every year, PSGR takes it as an opportunity during this event, to campaign against child marriages, child trafficking, child prostitution, child sex tourism and many other issues affecting children today.
PSGR has Peer Educators (PEs) who usually visit sex workers to document their voices about prostitution. Most sex workers indicate that selling sex is dehumanizing and demeaning. They are subjected to various forms of violence and some are even killed in line of their duty. Majority are willing to withdraw, given an opportunity for something else.
Account Name: People Serving Girls At Risk
Account #: 185-0000-319-993
Bank Name: FDH Bank
Branch Name: Umoyo Branch
Swift code: FDHFMWMW
Hundreds of girls continue to be forced into sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. In Malawi, children especially girls are trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation in bars and other drinking places. Not only is sex trafficking a violation of their human rights and their well-being but it also denies them the opportunity to reach their full potential.
PSGR is working with technical and financial support from Equality Now to on a project called #JusticeForGirls where we have intensified awareness on sex trafficking, take cases of sex trafficking through courts of law, but also provide security and protection for girl survivors of sex trafficking, as provided for in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Trafficking in Persons Act (2015)
We set up clubs in and out of schools where we teach girls Life Planning Skills. A lot of girls and young women in prostitution indicate having come from rural areas, after dropping out of school. They are later coerced to join the job industry in towns, where often the recruiters take them to brothels and other entertainment places to 'serve' clients.
The Life planning skills clubs therefore serve as a launch pad where girls below the age of 15 can be empowered with knowledge and information about sex tourism and prostitution, in addition to learning self esteem and equip them to prevent rape, defilement, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
PSGR is also working with groups of women in rural areas, providing them with Income Generation Activities. Many of these women have experienced different forms of violence, including sexual exploitation. They approached PSGR to help them establish a new life, in which they can be financially independent and be able to send their children to school. By empowering these women, PSGR believes it is reducing the number of children who would be vulnerable to sexual abuse including exploitation in future.
In the photo is 'Egg Selling Group' in Nthache Village from Blantyre Rural. These IGAs have also greatly helped reduce cases of violence against women and children.
To help keep girls in schools, Action Water of England provided PSGR funding to build pit latrines and repair wells in schools and villages. The project came against the increased number of girls dropping out of school due to poor sanitation and lack of portable water. Many of the girls who dropped out of school joined prostitution or were married early.
This project therefore greatly helped to reduce the school dropout rate from 35% to around 4%, while cholera and other waterborne related diseases reduced from 28% to almost 0%!
In the photograph is Namwiri Primary School pit latrine under construction
For the first time in history, the FIFA World Cup was played in Africa in 2010. A lot of girls were trafficked to South Africa and neighbouring countries to boost the tourism industry.
PSGR undertook awareness activities around border districts to sensitize girls and communities about trafficking in persons and to mobilize local authorities to remain vigillant against trafficking of girls and women. PSGR also provided soccer balls and other playing materials and equipment to girls in and out of school so as to keep them busy.
Misesa HIV/AIDS Support is into bakery, thanks to PSGR. The group originated from a protestant church (Misesa CCAP) which is in T/A Chigaru, Blantyre Rural. The bakery project aims to help the group generate income, in addition to improving quality of life for its members who are mainly living positively with HIV and AIDS