New Delhi, India—ECPAT International and STOP India recently partnered to launch the India Boys report on 25 April 2023, bringing together practitioners, lawyers, government entities, international embassies, and other stakeholders from across the country to address the issue of sexual exploitation of boys.
As part of the Global Boys Initiative, the India Boys report examines the sexual exploitation of boys in India and identifies gaps in child protection legislation and support services for young boys, explores the factors placing them at risk, and outlines recommendations to tackle this issue.
The launch event sparked crucial conversations around sexual exploitation in India and shed light on the lack of specialised support services for boy survivors. Findings from the report revealed that boy survivors tend to be referred to social services for other issues such as living in street situations, substance misuse, or gang violence. As frontline workers may not have the necessary skills or training to link these issues to sexual exploitation, boys often fail to be referred to the appropriate support services.
A key highlight of the event was the recognition that working closely with boys is crucial for the creation of a gender-inclusive and gender-sensitive society. By acknowledging the unique experiences and challenges faced by boys when disclosing and seeking care for sexual exploitation and abuse, the event marked a crucial step towards a more inclusive approach towards the protection of boys.
The event concluded with a sense of urgency and commitment from the participants to address the gaps in child protection and support services for sexually exploited boys in India. Participants agreed on the need to adopt a multifaceted approach through more specialised services, awareness campaigns, and legislative reforms to comprehensively address the sexual exploitation of boys in India.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL BOYS INITIATIVE:
At the 2016 Global Survivors Forum organised by ECPAT International, male survivor-advocates of sexual exploitation explained that services for boys were extremely rare, and even where services may include boys in their work, there is limited focus on addressing the specific characteristics, experiences and supports required by boys.
In 2019 to delve into this, ECPAT co-authored an academic paper that looked at the global situation of sexual exploitation of boys. It showed that despite a growing global awareness that boys do experience sexual exploitation, and at greater rates than previously recognised, there is limited research available to fully tell this story.
As the programmatic responses to identify and meet the particular needs of boys are scarce, ECPAT International launched the Global Initiative to explore the sexual exploitation of boys which activates our global network of member organisations in a range of research and response activities.
Learn more about the Global Boys Initiative here.