By Cletus Davis
The Red Card project by Sonke and Grassroot adapts a former Red Card campaign that was successfully used by AED in Mozambique to prevent the sexual exploitation and coercion of women. This campaign by Sonke and Grassroot will focus more specifically on the prevention of child sexual exploitation. The Red Card project focuses on the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the increased risk during this period, but also extends beyond this event and into the future.
Child sexual exploitation affects millions of girls and boys globally and is a growing problem in southern Africa. It is a violation of children’s rights that harms their physical and psychosocial wellbeing.
Child sexual exploitation in southern Africa may take many forms including:
* Transactional sex
* Alcohol and drug abuse linked with child abuse
* Child sex trafficking
* Child sex tourism
* Child prostitution
* Exposure of children to sexually explicit content and nudity
* Intergenerational sex (involving young people)
* Sex with a minor (under 16)
* Forced marriage
* Men in positions of authority exploiting their authority, such as teachers
Some of these forms of child sexual exploitation are so commonplace that many people accept them as “normal.” The Red Card campaign aims to ensure that child sexual exploitation receives the clarity and emphasis it deserves, while not excluding discussion of other forms of sexual exploitation, such as exploitative sexual relationships between older men and girls or young women.
The Red card Approach
The Red Card project will
1. Obtain new, original insights into themes and strategies around addressing sexual exploitation, through formative and evaluation research. This will be done through focus groups and in-depth interviews with young people, key NGOs working in this field, and government officials. The project will also identify a core group of young people to serve as an advisory group on the project.
2. Increase the capacity and willingness of at least 450 adults and children, across at least 30 local partner organizations, to act against sexual exploitation. The Red Card project will develop new training materials and training modules focusing on awareness and prevention of sexual exploitation. It will also train 30 to 50 partner organisations to implement the Red Card campaign in their own fields.