Child traffickers exploit Nepal tragedy


The series of earthquakes in Nepal have claimed 8500 lives and injured nearly 20,000. In a sinister new development parents are being urged to protect children from roaming gangs of ruthless human traffickers, who earn $570 for every girl or boy they supply, reports say.

The Nepal Government through officially broadcast radio messages is warning parents not to leave their children unguarded and to look out for suspicious people trying to talk to girls in the many camps that have emerged. Girls not recruited into prostitution may be sold on as domestic slaves in India and boys are taken into forced labor.

With more than 950,000 children in Nepal  in makeshift tents, on the streets or simply out of school, fears are now growing that children consigned to the streets or camps may be easy prey. Nepal has lost 20,000 girls to cross-border trafficking in the recent years.

Social workers in the country-who estimate that in normal times about 7,000 to 15,000 girls and young women every year are trafficked across the long border into Indian brothels-fear a huge surge in numbers. MaitiNepal, an NGO working to prevent trafficking to India for forced sex work and to rescue and rehabilitate survivors, has claimed traffickers in that area are being paid upwards of 30,000 Indian rupees every time they supply a person.

The escalating threat that displaced children now face from child exploitation emphasizes the need for urgent humanitarian aid to get children off the streets.