I’ve just been listening to a very interesting programme on BBC Radio 4 about vulnerable children in Tajikistan.
The journalist meets children who have a history of abuse and exploitation; they are often seen as ‘degenerates’ instead of victims and are forced to run away from home. Authorities often share these opinions and children end up in ‘special schools’ which are usually no different to a closed detention centre.
One girl speaks of her experiences; her father forced her to beg on the streets and her family sold her sister to a woman they didn’t know. This young girl ran away from home trying to find her sister and was picked up by the authorities who sent her to this ‘special school’. She has since been transferred to a girl’s support centre.
The ultimate aim of organisations working with these children is to reunite them with their families, or to set them up in shared accommodation so they can find freedom and safety.
If you are in the UK you can listen to the whole programme on BBC iplayer.