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Priti Patkar

Human Rights Award, 2014

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Focus Areas

Human Trafficking

“What we did was break the cycle of exploitation and create an opportunity for every child born in the red light district to know they have a right to be protected from all forms of violence and exploitation. What gives me strength is the courage and conviction of trafficked mothers who fight against all odds to give their children the right to choose what they want to become.”

Priti Patkar is a social worker who pioneered night shelters for at-risk children of prostituted women in India. Her organization, Prerana, offers kids – and their mothers – healthcare, education and vocational training. Priti opened her first childcare shelter more than 30 years ago, when she witnessed the cycle of exploitation that’ s passed from one generation to the other in Mumbai’ s red light district.

Keeping kids safe from traffickers and pimps is a constant challenge. Priti works with the police and even trains officers to spot traffickers. She’ s now a global advocate who shares her insights and strategies with peers around the world