Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Free a Girl do?

Free a Girl supports organisations which passionately fight against child prostitution. We support local initiatives that liberate children from brothels or from a life on the streets to give them the opportunity to have a more fortunate future. Over 4000 girls have been liberated at this moment. We have also expanded shelters and improved the medical care and education they provide. Free a Girl wants to enhance the awareness about child prostitution and fight against impunity. 

Why is this campaign so important?

Millions of girls across the world are forced into prostitution. In India, young girls are locked up in small cages of 1 by 2 metres and sexually exploited every single day. We can not let this happen. Our objective is to raise as much money as possible so we can free more girls, shelter them and care for their rehabilitation. By locking yourself up for 12 hours, you enable us to free these girls. 

Do these girls really live in such small cages?

Yes. In India, for example, there are ten thousands of these cages. Girls are also held captive in these horrible conditions in other countries. 

What will happen with the proceeds of this campaign?

The money that this campaign provides us with, will be invested to support projects for survivors of child prostitution. We support several local search teams. Their objective is to find and liberate young girls in order for them to get counselling and make their way back into society. 

How can I be certain that the money is spent in the right places?

Free a Girl is very transparant when it comes to the proceeds and expenses. In 2019 
we spent 11% of our proceeds on fundraising, which is well beneath the CBF norm of 25%. We invested 86% of our funds towards our objectives. You can read our annual report here. 

Will this campaign really make a difference?

Thanks to Lock me Up, we generate a lot of publicity and we raise funds. Because of this we will be able to free more girls from prostitution and give them a new future. In India, our attempts to liberate girls and prosecute perpetrators have reduced the number of girls in brothels. Our goal is to achieve this in many other countries too. 

How do girls end up in child prostitution?

Poverty is the most common cause of child prostitution. Parents will give away their children to family members or vague acquaintances in return for money in order to pay off their debts or maybe even to survive. The family member / acquaintance usually promises that a better life awaits the child when they take them. Sadly, this is hardly ever the truth. Girls often get kidnapped as well, on their way to school for example. They are drugged and put into brothels. 
Every year thousands of children die, when they never had the chance to be a child at all. Their life has been nothing but exploitation, violence and sexual abuse. Children working and living on the streets, are especially an easy target to child smugglers and exploiters. There are also a lot of children that just ´disappear´. 
Because of a lack of power, corruption or ignorance, these child smugglers hardly get prosecuted. Smuggling children is very lucrative. One child will earn a smuggler hundreds of euros. Pimps will pay thousands of euros for some girls. These girls end up earning the pimps ten thousands of euros. 

Are there any minors in forced prostitution in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands approximately 200 girls are a victim of child prostitution. They are often confronted with violence, blackmail and intimidation. These girls are living in hell. These so called ´loverboys´ are not kind. They are merciless pimps who exploit girls in every way possible,

How many girls have been liberated?

Since our establishment in 2008, Free a Girl has liberated more than 4000 girls. 

How long does the rehabilitation program in India take?

A rehabilitation program in India takes approximately 1 year. Some girls can´t go back home, because their domestic situation isn´t safe. They will then stay in the shelter until they are 18. 

How do you know where to find these girls?

Our partner organisations stroll past brothels in Mumbai, in search of minors. Whenever a missing girl is reported, these teams search the brothels as well. They go undercover and pretend to be a client. They often have to return several times in order to gain trust. When they retrieved enough evidence, they work together with the police to raid the brothel. 

Aren´t you bringing emergency workers in unnecessary danger?

Yes they are in danger, but it is not unnecessary. Not a single child should be captivated, especially not in the sexindustry. 

Does this technique undermine the authority of the police and authorities?

The invation of brothels is done together with the police. Our partners also work closely with the justice department to prosecute perpetrators. Constantly asking attention for child prostitution, has made sure this problem stays a priority for the authorities. 

How many rescue teams do you support?

Free a Girl supports 7 rescue teams and 15 partner organisations worldwide. 

How large is the percentage of girls that are sold by their parents?

In India, girls are rarely sold to a brothel directly by their family. However, parents are often mislead by people promising a better future for their daughter. Sometimes they tell the parents that they want to marry their daughter or that a great job awaits them in the city. Parents will sometimes receive compensation from the girl trafficker, but that doesn´t mean the parents want them to go into prostitution. Often it´s because they don´t have the resources to offer their child a good future. 

How much does the rehabilitation program cost?

Approximately € 1.000,00 including coaching, education, trainings and their way back home. (The costs depend on the country) 

At what age is it legal to work in India?

The legislation in India has a lot of different laws when it comes to working children. The most important laws state that no child beneath the age of 14 is allowed to work in factories, mines or other harmful surroundings. Forced labor (which is often the case in prostitution) is illegal for children and adults. The law emphasizes the importance of education more and more; as of 2009, an important law obligates children between the ages of 6 and 14 to go to school. 

What is the minimum wage in India?

The minimum wage differs per state and region, as it does between men and women. For example, minimum wage in Bihar is 230 (€2,95) roepies a day, when in Delhi the minimum wage is 510 roepies (€6,60) a day. 

India is a middle income country. Why does the Netherlands need to contribute money?

More than 410 million people in India live in poverty. This means that there are more people living in poverty in India than in Africa and that poverty is far from resolved. Besides the poverty problem, there are more children captivated in the sexindustry than in any other place in the world. That is why we need to intervene. It would be great if the government and rich Indians would take the responsibility, but these girls simply don´t have the time to wait for them. 

Does Free a Girl help these girls to build a new life?

Yes, we invest in improving the quality of education, trauma processing and professional training in the shelters. If the girls go back home, they take a start capital with them. This capital contains a damage compensation they receive from the government and salary for tasks they did in the shelters. They receive money from the profit,made from selling products and from working in the kitchen or on the country. 

When I donate money, does the entire amount go to the rescue teams?

No, a large part of the donations goes to the rescue teams. We also support several local organisations which shelter liberated girls, provide them with medical care, legal support, education, professional training and help them with processing their trauma. Our objective is that 85% of our proceeds from Lock me Up directly benefit our projects. The higher the proceeds, the more money comes available for our projects. A big part of what we do is sponsored. Approximately 15% goes to salaries (employees of Free a Girl have a salary which is based on collective labour agreement, as is stated by the Dutch Government), a free-lancer, building our special campagne website (one time costs), building the cages, print work and volunteer compensations. All air time on television and radio is completely sponsored and all exposure in print media is free. Free a Girl is very critical when it comes to spending money on fundraising. We also work with as money volunteers as possible.

How do you know these girls dont return into forced prostitution?

Girls are followed for a long period of time they leave the shelter. Their situation is reported to a judge in the city where the girl was found and liberated. 

Can I choose where I want to be locked up for Lock me Up - Free a Girl, 2019.

The objective is to find 40 participating locations throughout the Netherlands. Therefore there is a possibility that you won´t be able to participate in your hometown. As soon as we have new locations, you will hear from us. Make sure to respond promptly, for every locations only has space for 2 people a day. 

How much money do I need to raise in order to be locked up in may?

The sponsortarget is €2.500. You will be a part of the Lock me Up week in may as soon as you raise the sponsortarget. 
Everyone is welcome to make an account and use a personal page to raise money for Lock me Up-Free a Girl 2019! 

How do I raise money?

Use social media! Share the link to your actionpage on Facebook and Instagram. Check out this page for fun sponsortips! 
In need of some inspiration? Contact us! 

Will I be able to go to the toilet?

Yes. You are allowed to leave the cage every two hours for five minutes. 

I am participating as a location. Do we need to pick up the cages somewhere?

No. We take care of that! We deliver the cages, put them together and collect them at the end of the week.

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