Tiny Hands Nepal – Sex-Trafficking in Nepal: Our partnership with Tiny Hands Nepal
Each year in Nepal, an estimated 10,000-15,000 girls are trafficked across the border where they are sold into Indian brothels and forced to become prostitutes. These girls range between ages 7 and 24, with an average age of 15.
Most of the girls are poor and come from villages where they are lured by false marriages, or the promises of employment or education. Many of them are sold by their families. They are usually processed through Kathmandu on their way to the Nepal-India border, where they face a very meager checkpoint.
Others are trafficked into China despite China’s more controlled processes. When they reach their destination at a brothel usually in a nearby city, they quickly learn of their fate. Most of these young girls are virgins, and virgins are more valuable to traffickers (the myth that having sex with a virgin or younger girl will cure HIV and other STDs is common). Consequently, nearly all of these girls are forced to begin having sex with clients within a day of their arrival. Many are gang-raped and beaten to be initiated. Their torturous introduction is designed to ensure future compliance.
Often these girls are forced to have unsafe abortions in the brothel, since many of the men do not use condoms. HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are very common. After they are found to have HIV, the girls are thrown out. If they return to their villages, they face being ostracized because of where they have been—because of what was done to them. Many times their families will not take them back and their prospects for marriage or a job are very slim. Of those who don’t die of AIDS, most end up back on the street, selling themselves.
Tiny Hands Nepal have multiple years of experience in intercepting these girls. To date over 7,000 girls have experienced freedom thanks to their border monitoring and interception practices. Traditionally focused on the Indian border, Captivating International has partnered with Tiny Hands to commence the same program on the Nepal/Chinese border. Trial programs and research are proving successful with girls being interviewed and intercepted every month from 2 border monitoring programs. This small organization is amazing and we look forward to an expanding relationship with them.
Sapna is 16 and is from a large but poor family. Because of this, she had to quit her studies after the 10th grade and start working. She worked hard to help her family but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the nationwide lockdown was implemented by the government, which created extreme financial hardship for Sapna and her family. One day, she received a call from an unknown number which almost changed her life.
When girls are smuggled over the border, either by force or deception, most are never found. Our partner, 3 Angels Nepal, is working hard despite the restrictions and travel limitations, to stop girls before they are trafficked.
Life has not always been easy for Saheli (name changed for protection) and her family however, with her father working hard, they still had a good life. When COVID-19 hit the world and Nepal went into lockdown, everything changed. Saheli’s father lost his job and so providing daily food for the family was difficult. In April, her world changed after meeting a man she knew as ‘uncle’.