Public Opinion is Clear: Urgent Legislation Required to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation! Read the story

Launch of the Global Boys Initiative: Boys In India Report

Posted on Oct 31, 2022



How are poverty and genderbiased child protection laws placing boys in India at risk of sexual exploitation? 

INDIAIn collaboration with STOP India, ECPAT International is proud to announce the release of the latest report from the Global Boys Initiative: India Report. This is the ninth in a series of ten country reports that explores the underreported issue of the sexual exploitation of boys. The Global Boys Initiative aims to improve global knowledge; inform legislative efforts to protect boys and gender-diverse children from sexual exploitation; and coordinate efforts to develop tools and guidance on how to effectively work with boys. 

Detailed surveys with Indian frontline service providers were conducted and a comprehensive analysis of how the Indian legal framework addresses the sexual abuse and exploitation of boys. The report explores which factors put boys in India at risk of sexual exploitation, uncovers gaps in child protection legislation, and outlines what needs to change. 

Key findings discussed in the report include: 

  • How poverty pushes boys into circumstances of sexual exploitation?
    Boys often migrate between states seeking work, working in and living in street situations where they may be exploited in return for money, shelter, or survival.
  • How sexual stigma and discrimination towards young people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity are prohibiting sexually exploited children from reporting and seeking help?
    15% of frontline workers identified the fear of others thinking they are gay as one of the top barriers hindering boys from disclosing their abuse and/or exploitation
  • How Indian legislation needs to be strengthened to comprehensively protect boys from sexual exploitation?
    Gender bias in certain laws means that protection is only afforded to girls and not boys.
  • How rigid gender norms for boys are preventing them from seeking help?
    Even when boys report abuse, law enforcement officers may discourage investigations from proceeding.
  • What are the gaps and limitations in existing support services for boys in India?
    Frontline workers often fail to identify boys as victims of sexual exploitation and direct them to the appropriate recovery services. 


Read the full report here.
Read the summary here.

For more information, please contact: 


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. 


About ECPAT International: 

ECPAT International is a global network of over 122 civil society organisations, in over 100 countries, working towards the vision of ending the sexual exploitation of children. With over 30 years of experience in engaging with and managing multi-stakeholder processes and alliances across national, regional and global levels; ECPAT works to end the sexual exploitation of children. 


About STOP India: 

Since 1998, STOP India, otherwise known as Ramola Bhar Charitable Trust (RBC Trust), has been combating the trafficking of children (both boys and girls) and women in the Indian sub-continent with a special focus on India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. 

STOP India is currently working with local residents of marginalised communities to improve child protection on digital mediums.