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End the exploitation of girls

End the exploitation of girls

Around the world, girls are being abused and exploited for other’s gain. We won’t give up until the violence stops.

Every day, girls are being exploited in ways that are devastating for their health and wellbeing. Sold, lured, tricked and coerced, they’re being forced into prostitution, child labour, domestic servitude and marriage, often with much older men.

We can’t let this violence against girls and women continue. That’s why we were at the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) with youth advocates Viola, Norah, Hope and Georgina, as they demanded a commitment from their governments to take action to end this abuse of girls’ rights. 

It’s why we're standing with youth advocates in Nepal, Uganda and Nigeria, as they campaign to end the exploitation of girls. And it’s why we’re committed to making cities around the world safer for girls, to end the abuse and harassment that growing numbers are facing in urban environments.

99% of people sexually exploited for commercial gain are female – one in five are girls

Nearly 70% of domestic workers are girls and over one fifth work in hazardous conditions

40.3 millionpeople are affected by forced labour and forced marriage globally


Girls who are exploited are being denied their childhood, their education and their chance to secure a sustainable livelihood for themselves. Their freedom and autonomy are being curtailed, leaving them socially isolated and vulnerable to ongoing violence, exploitation and abuse throughout their lives.

This violence is being done to girls in their homes and in their communities. It’s also increasingly happening to those fleeing their homelands due to conflict and humanitarian crises: girls on the move are extremely vulnerable to being sold or trafficked into forced labour or sexual exploitation.

We know that when girls are free to choose their own path, influence the world around them, and speak out when they see injustice, everything changes. That’s why we’re committed to standing with brave girls around the world, as they campaign to end exploitation and ensure every girl lives a life free from violence.

A girls looks out over a balcony
Laxmi* was rescued and returned to Nepal after she was trafficked to India when she was 15 (*name has been changed to protect identity).

Speaking out at UNGA

Modern slavery is on the agenda for governments meeting at the 2018 UN General Assembly (UNGA) – and we'll be there, to make sure the experiences of adolescent girls and young women are heard.

We'll be presenting some of the early findings from a wider research study from Uganda, Nepal and Nigeria, which aims to better understand the factors that make girls and young women so vulnerable to exploitation, and to pinpoint the approaches that might help them.

Norah is a youth advocate from Uganda
Norah, 23, has been part of our Safer Cities programme in Kampala for the last four years. “When the girls around me are exploited, I am not safe either. Let’s re-write the story,” she says.


Today, more than half of all enslaved individuals in the world are estimated to live in Commonwealth countries, making it a problem our leaders can’t ignore.

In 2018, we joined youth advocates Viola and Norah from Uganda, and Hope and Georgina from Kenya, at the Commonwealth Summit. They asked their Governments to push for commitments to be made by all the Heads of State, to end the exploitation of girls and protect their rights – and they succeeded.

Youth advocates Sarita and Sabina are standing with young people in Nepal to demand an end to trafficking
Sabina, left, 17, and Sarita, right, 15, are campaigning to end trafficking in Nepal.

Standing with brave girls to stop trafficking

“If girls know their rights, they can educate the new generation.” – Sabina

Every day, girls are being trafficked within Nepal, across the border into India and overseas. Once they’re taken away from their homes, they're being sexually exploited in brothels, and forced into child marriage, domestic servitude and to work in clothes factories.

It's a horrendous abuse of girls' rights, and it has to stop. That's why we asked you to support youth advocates Sarita and Sabina, as they campaigned to get their Mayor to take action.

Maribel is as afraid on public transport as she is on the streets of Quito
Maribel, 19, is a youth advocate for Plan International Ecuador.


“Because I’m a girl, others think I’m weaker. Because I am a girl, I’m seen as a sexual target.” – Maribel, 19, Ecuador

For the first time in history, there are more people living in cities than in rural areas. These urban environments offer all kinds of opportunities – but our research shows that the world’s cities aren’t safe for girls.

They’re facing abuse, physical and sexual harassment and exploitation, making this a global problem that must be addressed.

Youth advocates Fiona, Rowlings and Faridah in Uganda
In Uganda, as many as one in ten girls have been affected by sexual abuse and exploitation, and girls tell us that this is a real issue for them at work.


In Uganda, as many as one in ten girls have been affected by sexual abuse and exploitation, and girls tell us that this is a real issue for them at work.

Now, as the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development prepare to launch an official consultation into the sexual exploitation of girls and young women at work, youth advocates Faridah, Fiona and Rowlings have called for it to focus on why action isn’t taken when girls report exploitation.

Youth advocates Tama and Gift in Nigeria

Saying no to trafficking in Nigeria

In North East Nigeria, humanitarian crisis and conflict have put girls’ safety in jeopardy. Traffickers are luring girls and young women with promises of well-paid jobs and tricking families into giving up their daughters, but what seems like a way out is a path to exploitation.

Many girls don’t know the risks until it’s too late. That’s why we’re standing with youth advocates Tama and Gift as they champion a girl-led movement to say no to the trafficking of girls and young women. 

Stand with every brave girl

Be part of the Because I am a Girl campaign