Shafiq R Khan

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Conceptualisation Of The Study ON Range of Rescue and Rehabilitation Efforts in the Field of child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking

This chapter outlines the conceptualization that was used to9 initiate the study. It is a gestalt of understanding with which the research team went into the field, in order to guide and focus data collation about the range of rescue and rehabilitation efforts in the field of child sexual exploitation. In keeping with the principles of the qualitative approach to research that this study followed, it was expected that this initial conceptualization would be refined and changed at the end of data collocation and analysis . Broadly, the conceptualization studied the range of rescue and rehabilitation efforts as perceived by initials/ organization carrying them out as well as by the minors who are the beneficiaries of such initiatives. There efforts are studied in the light of existing socio- cultural, legal and political factors as well international conventions and ideologies that are relevant to the rescues and rehabilitation of minors.

Broken down further, the rescue efforts were conceptualized in times of terms of the initiator of the rescue effort and the process of rescue, as well as the outcome of rescue as understood by those actors responsible for it with regard to rehabilitation. The organization was examined as well as the process in terms of its operation and outcome… the children’s experiences and perceptions about the rescue and rehabilitation process were also locked at. Each of the areas mentioned above was divided into numerous subcategories. Together these areas and sub- categories made up the foundation. In conceptual terms that was used to initiate the study. This working conceptual map has been graphically presented in map 1 and further elaborated upon.

2.1 conceptualisation of the range of rescue efforts

2.1.1 Initiator of the rescue

A review of the available literature indicates that the rescue effort can be initiated through different individually/organizations in the government, non-government or voluntary sector.




Municipal corporation of Government departments (example: Deputy municipal commissioner in 1996 there is also a possibly that the rescue could possibly have been initiated in rural areas by the village Panchyat. In the non-Government and voluntary sector, the rescue efforts have been initiated by NGOs and by dynamic individuals. The initiator of the rescue necessarily has a bearing on the manner in which the rescue is carried out.

Each actor in the progress has a specific ideology that drives his or her actions. For instance, some rescues are initiation in the belief that the prostitution of children is a flagrant violation of human rights; others may be directed at curbing the spared of HIV/AIDS in the country or may be driven by religious motivation to save the lives of girls in moral danger. While the diverse ideologies driving the rescue process may still lead to the same end, I.e. rescue of the minor, it was anticipated that this might have a bearing on the manner in which these minors are treated after the rescue is carried out thus the study aimed to examine the various motivations of ideologies or behind the rescue processes.

As the rescue in almost never carried out single-handedly, it would be interesting to find out the perception of the person/organization initiating the rescue, as they are likely to have a bearing on the extent and type of rescue effort undertaking. The manner in witch the individual/ organization cultivates and establishes contacts/informants who serve to facilitate the rescue process was also studied.

Preventive, protective strategies being used by individuals/organization to prevent further trafficking and exploitation of minors in a particular area were also to be studied. these could be in the form Mahila mandals, youth meeting, community awareness programmes, media campaigns, income-generation programmes, and the like.

The individuals/organization initiating the rescue were also asked for their suggestion regarding the prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of minor victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation.

2.1.2 Process of Rescue and Post-Rescue

Here, the study identified the various steps and processes carried out by the individual or organization during and after the process of rescue of the minors

In terms of the progress of the rescue, various aspects were considered relevant including the type of planning that goes into these operations prior to the actual event. The progress of rescue requires some prior planning for various reasons not least in order to identify minors in the brothel. In same cases the individual/organization may be tipped off about the existence of a minor in a brothel and may act accordingly; in other cases they may keep an active vigil on a number of brothels and may have to devise elaborate schemes to identify minors and to prove the fact that the brothel keeper is living off their earnings.

A team of persons or an individual may carry out a rescue. The team may consist of senior police inspector, women and other constables as well as NGO personnel. The actual events that unfold in a rescue operation vary widely with some being relatively simple and others being highly complex and involving the use of children cameras and heat-sensory machines. The study aimed at outlining variety in terms of composition of teams for rescue as well various ways in which the rescue operations unfold, by getting details about the actual events that unfold during a rescue.

Initial discussions with various people in the field suggested that the people such as trafficker, pimps and brothel owners involved in the trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors have devised various counter-strategies to circumnavigate and overcome the rescue efforts. The study aimed to gain an insight in to this wsb of strategy and counterstrategy formulated by the actors involved.

Ideally, the rescue operation should take place with the consent and participation of the child being rescued. This however is an ideal situation, and rescue of a minor form prostitution is legally incumbent upon the enforcement agencies, irrespective of consent of the minor. While in some cases, the minor may request, cooperate and even participate actively in the rescue, in other instances the minor may resist the rescue efforts because of her fear, difference and lack of knowledge or understanding of the outcomes. The rescuers’ perceptions about the participation of the minors in the rescue process and resistance to the rescue if any, was also documented.

The study also recorded the post-rescue activities and the roles played by the different individuals/institutions including the Police, Probation officer, Magistrate, State Home, Child welfare Committee, etc.

The document attempted to examine the obstacles being faced by the people initiating the rescue. It was anticipated that the individuals/organizations carrying out the rescue process must face host of problems while carrying out their work. These difficulties would include those specific to the actual rescue process such as identifying minors, brothel owners being tipped off and lack of police co-operation. Additionally, problems could emerge due to being identified as rescuers of minor girls including court cases against the rescuers on false charges of kidnapping, threats to the person or property of the rescuers and non co-operation from the local community.

Effort were made to interview a range of personnel that initiate the rescue (individuals/NGOs Police) and also individuals/organizations involved in post-rescue operations (Magistrates/Probation officers/ personnel involved in age verification and the Child Welfare Committee), in order to develop a better understanding of the range of rescue and post-rescue efforts.

2.1.3 Outcomes of Rescue

Positive outcomes of rescue efforts are considered to be entry into rehabilitation programmes, repatriation or follow up by the rescuing individual/organization.

It was also anticipated that there might possibly be cases of negative outcomes of rehabilitation in time of death or secondary abuse (reap/neglect/physical violence). There could also be instances where, soon after the rescue, the girls finds herself back in the brothel or is re-trafficked or rejected by her family.

The various possible outcomes of rescue-positive and negative-were also documented।

2.2 Conceptualisation of the Rang of Rehabilitation Efforts

2.2.1 The Organisation Providing Rehabilitation

The type of organization involved in rehabilitation of children who have been victims of CSE obviously has a bearing on the nature of rehabilitation. The principles underlying the programmes as well as the quality of care offered is determined to some extent by whether the actor is a Government organization, a Non-Government organization, a religious trust, or a community development organization. The nature of the organization could also have a bearing on why the organization is involved in rehabilitation and what they consider this to mean. For example; an organization could be involved in rehabilitation because it is stipulated to do so by law; while another could do so because the organizations’ ideology supports such a venture. Similarly, while one organization could view the girls as rehabilitated once she is married, another could view self-employment as a step in rehabilitation.

One of the revelations derived from the 1996 raids was that the rescued minors were very dissatisfied with the limited facilities being offered at the institutions that the house them post-rescue and preferred to go back to the brothels instead of living in such deprived conditions. It was thus important to study the infrastructure and resources available for the rehabilitation of minors with aim of shedding light on the existing resources and their utilization in these programmes. The infrastructure and resources would include the type and quality of residential/non-residential facility, the capacity of the institution, facilities available, the extent of utilization of services, the adequacy of resources to meet the need of the girls and also the attitude, qualifications and experience of staff manning the organization.

The organization providing rehabilitation were also to be asked about their funding, networking strategies and other preventive/protective activities as well as their suggestion for prevention of CSEC and trafficking and rescue and rehabilitation of the girls.

2.2.2 Process of rehabilitation

The process of rehabilitation would consist of all the details of the rehabilitation programme that the organization has planned for the child.

The components of rehabilitation were open to variation depending on the nature, thrust and ideology of the organization and could rang from sustenance programmes (medical aid, cooking, cleaning, sewing) to developmental (education, vocational training, counseling, job placement) programmes. The range that is available in these rehabilitation programmes was to be documented.

The participation of the children should be a crucial element in the rehabilitation programme. Article 12 of the Convention on the rights of the child held in 1989 focuses on a child’s right to be heard and be involved in decision-making. This Article states that “any child capable of forming his or her views should be provided the right to express these views in all matters affecting the child and that the opinion of the child should be given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child[1].”

The organizations were therefore to be asked about whether, and to what extent, the girls participate in their rehabilitation process.

2.2.3. Outcomes of rehabilitation Programmes

A minor who has been successfully removed and has remained away from prostitution would be considered a positive outcome of the programme. Other indicators that could be used; the minor is prepared and willing to testify in a court of law against her traffickers/brothel keepers; the minors gets married on attaining adulthood; she is able to secure a job which sustains her; she is successfully repatriated in to her family.

The girls returning to prostitution, dropping out of the rehabilitation programme, begging for a living or committing suicide, would indicate negative outcomes.

2.3 Perceptions of children on rescue and rehabilitation efforts

It is very important to understand rescue and rehabilitation from the point of view of those who actually undergo the progress. While and organization may zealously be rescuing girls out of the brothels on moralistic, humanitarian ground, the minor may perceive the rescue progress and the subsequent in an institution as a situation which as a bad, if not worse, than captivity in the brothel. This section tries to understanding the minor girl’s experiences, perceptions and feelings about rescue and the post-rescue.

The minors who have undergone rescue most have some suggestions regarding a more humane, more participative method to learn their perceptions about the extent and manner in witch they have participated in the rescue operation as well as their suggestions for the rescue and post- rescue phases.

Similarly, the minors were to be asked to share there experiences of the rehabilitation progress, there feeling about the rehabilitation progress, the type and extent of participation and also asked to share suggestion for rehabilitation


[1] UNICEF, 1991; pg-6


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