Photo: One of the many schools our staff have visited to inform girls on the dangers of human trafficking and how to protect themselves.
Each year over 12,000 Nepalese girls as young as age 7 are trafficked across the Nepal-India border, mostly into Indian brothels. Many are from families who were tricked into believing there was an attractive job awaiting them in the big city. Others are lured to run away by young men who promise the girls various material possessions, leading them to believe they’re in love with them and want to take them home to India. Our teams are training girls how to spot such tactics and what to do when they suspect traffickers are visiting their towns and villages.
Our team is going village to village, school to school, distributing our literature about the trafficking crisis, speaking to girls and offering special training on how to be aware of the many common deceptions, tricks and traps the traffickers use to lure them or their parents into thinking the “opportunity” is legitimate. The training also includes information for the girls to know what they should do and who to contact if they suspect traffickers are in the area.
The girls are furthermore empowered with the basic information to share with friends and neighbors, as part of the strategy is to make use of the trained girls to spread the word further. Our team estimates that at least 5,000 girls have been trained, and thousands more have been made aware, through the trained girls’ work to tell their friends and neighbors. Our team continues to be surprised by the complete lack of awareness of the crisis they find in many of the villages they’re visiting.
Our approach to solve the human trafficking crisis in South Asia involves a 3-prong approach: awareness, interception and rehabilitation. The Awareness prong is the training program we’ve just described. The interception prong is our effort to stop traffickers as they’re in the process of trafficking the girls, before they reach the brothels. We have a border team working as spotters in conjunction with the police, and have saved several girls this way. Our rehabilitation effort exists to restore girls who have been rescued by Indian police out of the brothels to a life full of hope.
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