Project information

Break the Chains of Ritual Sex Slavery in India

To prevent Dalit girls being dedicated as Joginis, then sold for sex at puberty and condemned to a lifetime of ritualised prostitution in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

1 year pilot project

Charity information: Dalit Freedom Network UK

Dalit Freedom Network UK logo
  • Need


    Joginis are dedicated to a goddess as young children, sold for sex when they reach puberty and condemned to a lifetime of ritualised prostitution. They become the property of the men in the village, and some will be trafficked into brothels. They live in extreme poverty, they age prematurely, and they are at risk to infections such as HIV/AIDS. Many will be abused and assaulted sexually, physically and emotionally.


    Dalit Freedom Network will send 6 Indian workers into 100 villages in a district where it is reported that every other day another girl is dedicated as a Jogini. By building trust with the community, identifying local people to take a lead, educating and raising awareness of the illegality of Jogini and consequences for the girl, and where necessary taking legal action we aim to prevent more dedications.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To trial a prevention and awareness programme in 100 villages over a 12-month period


    » Employ 6 Indian workers to visit villages and hold monthly awareness meetings
    » Establish an information point at religious festivals to raise awareness
    » Promote government education and healthcare schemes, and offer opportunities for girls to take up places in our nearby schools
    » Take out public interest litigation in order to stop dedications

    What success will look like

    Success will be a decline in the numbers of young girls being dedicated as Joginis

    Aim 2

    To replicate the project in other districts of Andhra Pradesh


    » Identify community leaders and key people who can help deliver the programme in their district

    What success will look like

    Success will be launching the programme in at least one other district in the year following the pilot

  • Impact


    The project will change attitudes and mindsets so that dedication as Joginis becomes unacceptable in the community; it will identify and implement opportunities for economic development projects to help lift Dalits out of the cycle of poverty and exploitation which makes them so vulnerable to this practice; it will also alert authorities to the fact that the Jogini system continues despite being outlawed in 1988.


    There is a risk that vested interests will prevent the programme being delivered. We have dealt with this by putting developing good relationships with key people in the villages as a high priority. There is also a risk that poverty will drive families to continue dedicating daughters. We have dealt with this by including an exploration of establishing economic development projects as part of our programme.


    We will email a quarterly report to donors once the project begins in addition to posting general updates on our website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £48,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £23,000 Awareness programmes Holding monthly awareness programmes in 100 villages, plus religious festivals. Includes materials.
      £8,200 Staffing and travels 1 district and 5 area coordinators plus travel costs
      £2,700 Office support and equipment Office running costs, IT equipment and furniture
      £4,100 Legal fees Public interest litigation to prevent dedications
      £5,000 Monitoring and evaluation Monitoring and evaluating effectiveness to prepare for next phase
      £5,000 UK support and fundraising Fundraising, communication and office costs in UK
  • Background


    The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has among the highest rates of crimes against women and human trafficking in India. The state government puts the number of Joginis at 17,000, but NGOs working on the ground believe it could be as high as 100,000.


    Almost all Joginis are Dalits - untouchables. They fall below the caste system and are treated as sub-human and deprived of basic human rights such as education and healthcare, access to temples and to water supply in some areas. Dalits are among the poorest people groups in the world. Joginis are particularly poor, since they do not earn any money from servicing the sexual desires of the men in their village.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Dalit Freedom Network has a track record of working among the Dalit population of India through our Indian partners for the last 10 years. This includes 100 schools across India with 22,000 pupils, 70 community healthcare workers, 40 vocational training centres, 1700 self-help groups offering microfinance, 4 refuge shelters. This reponse to Dalit leaders requesting help in 2001 has brought community transformation to thousands of people.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    OMIF Anti-Human Trafficking Unit

    Planning and implementing the programme in India. For security reasons we cannot give individuals names.