The Good Father Campaign is the first Operation Red Alert Campaign. It already has the support of MS Dhoni, and interest from other endorsees and partners.
The Good Father Campaign is scheduled for launch in 2016. A powerful Campaign Concept is developed and Operation Red Alert is now looking for strategic partnerships that will help propel its impact.
Our message to Fathers is based on the research findings that the most powerful motivator to encourage behavior in fathers that benefits their daughters is the aspiration of being a “good” father. By affirming the innate good in fathers, their desire to do good for their families and villages, and encouraging them to make choices – even in difficult circumstances – that benefit their daughters equally, we believe we can mitigate his vulnerability to being tricked by traffickers.
The Research, both through Red Alert field work as well as through Final Mile’s efforts, led us to develop the Good Father Campaign. Addressing the Father is key to ensuring that decisions are made in favor of girls’ safety and long term wellbeing. While addressing young men can curb the demand and make the business of trafficking less lucrative for traffickers, it is a less direct approach to preventing sex trafficking. Also, the root issues causing fathers and families to send their girls into trafficking situations are different than those causing young men to habitually purchase sex. The factors on the supply side affecting fathers’ decision making hold much in common with other gender-based issues that India faces. Thus, a campaign addressing these root issues has the most potential to achieve broad benefits for women and girls while targeting specific goals for preventing sex trafficking and the exploitation of girls and women.
The father is the primary decision maker in Indian households, particularly in rural areas. He carries the weight of making decisions that affect his family’s wellbeing and sustenance. It is on his shoulders to manage the household responses to vulnerability – like a crop failure. He can make choices about investment into his daughter’s future.
While it is traditionally the mother’s role to see to the health, nourishment, and care of the family, she traditionally has less decision making power than the father. The mother stays informed on behalf of her family and guides or informs her husband’s decisions. Yet, it is ultimately often out of her hands to make big decisions affecting family opportunity or resources.
Because the father is the decision maker, he is the main point of contact for the trafficker. Traffickers know that to convince a family to take the risk of sending their daughter away, they must make it look appealing to the decision maker of the house. Little happens without the father’s approval.
If a father believes in his daughter’s potential he will see her future as a worthwhile investment. He will choose to send her to school instead of sending her for work in the city before she has time to develop skills. He will let her grow up rather than marrying her off before she is fully developed.
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