Plan's child trafficking project in Nepal
The numbers are astounding. Every year, a staggering 7,000 to 10,000 Nepalese girls—children between the ages of 9 and 16—are trafficked against their will across the open border with India, and sold into prostitution in cities like Bombay. Right now, more than 200,000 Nepalese girls are believed to be victims of the "trade" across the border.
Girl trafficking today is a multi-billion dollar industry in Nepal. Among the biggest profiters are the traffickers — whether syndicated "professionals," greedy relatives, or so-called "friends" — who profit hugely from the practice.
Girls in brothels routinely face violence, intimidation, sexual assault, and torture at the hands of brothel-owners, clients, even police. According to the Christian Science Monitor, "With hard work and an unending stream of customers, the girls can pay off their debts to the brothel-owners in six or seven years of continuous labor. Or die of AIDS." As many as 70 percent of the girls in India's brothels are HIV-positive.
How are you helping Plan make a difference?
In the six years since the generous, powerful, one-time contributions of friends like you helped us start this Girl Trafficking Rescue and Rehabilitation Project in Nepal, we've been working with the country's most dynamic local non-governmental organizations to rescue and rehabilitate trafficked children.
- We've helped rescue and rehabilitate thousands of Nepali girls
- We've pressured police in India to raid brothels which we knew were holding children
- We've supported "safe houses" where rescued girls can stay and receive medical care and psychological counseling while gradually readjusting to life outside the brothel
- We've given 2,000 girls scholarships to return to school,and offer literacy classes and technical training for jobs that are locally relevant.
- We also provide vegetable gardens and farm animals for nutrition and income for the girls and their families.
- We are working to prevent the exploitation of a new generation of girls in the most at-risk hillside villages of Nepal, using puppet shows, street drama and comic books to educate pre-teen girls to their rights as a child and to the realities of trafficking.
The project is gaining momentum in the communities. Today we are combating girl trafficking with the active support of local government agencies, teachers, social workers and community groups. Most importantly, the communities themselves are taking action against traffickers and becoming advocates and lobbyists through effective networking.
What happens next?
Two more years are needed to complete this momentous project! In two more years our Nepalese partners, with support from their government, the communities and especially the children, will have built up the capacity to continue the work without Plan's help, and with their skill and tenacity finally end the deadly trafficking of Nepal's children.
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