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Photo Exhibit of trafficking survivors - Pain To Power

[via Neww Polska]

Trafficked women redraw their portraits with a new identity through the lens of photographer Achinto Bhadra.  Hemlata Aithani captures the metamorphosis.

From brothels to mainstream, it has been a journey of transformation captured through the lens — the journey of 126 young women rescued from the red light areas in Kolkata and rehabilitated. Capturing their metamorphosis from ‘pain to power’, as they portrayed themselves in characters they could identify with, was acclaimed photographer Achinto Bhadra. At an exhibition organised at Alliance Francaise in New Delhi, he displayed 50 out of the 126 portraits he had created.

While the striking compositions, colour, costumes, make-up, expressions and captions made each portrait captivating, the exhibition for the most part was about the successful reintegration of the young subjects into society; their newly-gained independence; their determination to start life afresh; and how they see themselves and what they identify with.

The photographs were part of a project that began five years ago by the Kolkata-based NGO, Sanlaap, with support from Terre Des Hommes Foundation, Switzerland. “Sanlaap has been working for the past 21 years against the trafficking of girls and women... working with girls rescued from brothels.... and children of commercial sex workers and helping them to come back to main society,” says Indrani Sinha, director, Sanlaap.

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Vulnerable girls risk sexual exploitation on Juba's streets

JUBA, 28 January 2010 (PlusNews) - In a large market in Juba, the regional capital of Southern Sudan, young women spend long afternoons lounging on beds in sweltering iron sheet rooms, waiting for men.

One girl, no more than 17, wearing a tight tee-shirt with the words "I love beer" emblazoned on it, points us in the direction of a different set of rooms, with the really young girls.

IRIN has come to the market with Cathy Groenendijk, director of a small local NGO, Confident Children Out of Conflict (CCC), which for the past two-and-a-half years has run a drop-in centre for children from desperately poor homes in Juba. Today, she is searching for 14-year-old Alice*, one of her protégés who recently rang her to say she had found accommodation in an area known to house mainly sex workers.

"I can't be angry with her, I know where her family lives - right on the street; I can't judge her for wanting something better for herself, and her body is all she has to bargain with," she said.

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Sex for food in Nyeri slums

Girls as young as 10 are now trading their bodies for food as hunger and poverty ravage slums.

[Daily Nation] Nyeri may be considered the land of plenty, but in these times of famine, that label means nothing in Witemere slums, where girls trade their bodies for food.

The slum on the banks of River Chania is barely two kilometres from Muringato, which was recently in the news for all the wrong reasons - hungry villagers eating pig food to survive.

Now, residents of Witemere say hunger is driving their daughters, some as young as 10-14 years, out of school and straight into the arms of sex pests.

They say theirs is a forgotten village, where hunger is the order of the day. Amidst that misery, predators prowl the dusty lanes, seeking desperate girls who are only too willing to give their bodies in exchange for a few coins to buy food.

Mothers with nothing to feed their children actually tell their daughters to make the best of it.

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CFP: “International Efforts to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Zones”

The Body of the Nation:

International Efforts to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Zones

Edited by Tonia St.Germain, J.D. and Susan Dewey, Ph.D.

President Obama has vowed to put women’s issues at the core of American foreign policy. His decision to institute an Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues is unprecedented and reflects the elevated importance of global women’s issues to the State Department. Secretary of State Clinton has drawn attention to women at nearly every stop in her travels, most recently on a visit to eastern Congo to speak out against mass rape. Clearly Obama’s Administration recognizes the urgency of this crisis surrounding the use of rape as a tool in armed conflict in Africa and worldwide.

Feminists in the academy have an opportunity to help shape the questions leaders will answer as they formulate policy to address:

(1) sexual violence as a weapon of war;

(2) sex trafficking as a by- product of war;

(3) services to help victims of these atrocities.

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