Quake-hit girls falling into trafficking trapA 16-year-old girl from Dolakha trafficked to a brothel in New Delhi a year ago was rescued last week. According to the girl, she had been duped by one of her distant relatives and also her neighbour who secretly married the two of them and took them to India “to avoid family troubles”.
A 16-year-old girl from Dolakha trafficked to a brothel in New Delhi a year ago was rescued last week. According to the girl, she had been duped by one of her distant relatives and also her neighbour who secretly married the two of them and took them to India “to avoid family troubles”.
“The earthquake destroyed the entire village and the continuing jolts frightened me. I ran away at the first opportunity,” explains the teenager, adding that she did not want to return home and bring shame to her family.
Once in Delhi, her husband took her to meet a Nepali relative and left her there. A few days later, she was informed that the house was actually a brothel and that she had been sold to its owner, a Tamang woman originally from Nepal.
With persistent effort, the girl was able to flee the place and came in contact of Maiti Nepal, an organisation working to combat trafficking and rehabilitate trafficking survivors.
The teenager is now helping authorities to bust the racket that runs the brothel. Reluctant to reintegrate with her family, she wants to continue with her education in the Capital.
According to Maiti Nepal, trafficking in the earthquake-affected districts has increased after the earthquakes last year.
Also last week, two girls, who said they were headed for Qatar to work as domestic helps, were detained in the Indian capital for not possessing enough documents. After interrogation, the girls, aged 15 and 16, confessed to have changed their age to make passports.
The girls also revealed that they had been encouraged by their parents to work abroad. The agents who had approached them had done all the paperwork for them.
“The slow pace of reconstruction, which has left quake-affected families in temporary shelters, has increased their vulnerability and created opportunities for brokers to exploit this,” said Uma Tamang. Maiti Nepal has handled 54 cases of trafficking from the quake-hit districts in the last six months, an increase by 15 percent compared to previous records.
According to Maiti Nepal, Makwanpur and Kathmandu have the highest number of trafficking cases recently, followed by Dolakha, Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot and Dhading districts.