Friday, August 31, 2007

NEPAL: Traffickers Exploit Increased Mobility of Underage Girls

Traffickers target Nepalese girls from poor families in the villages.

BANKE, NEPAL - Sixteen-year-old Sushma does not want to reveal her true identity for fear that the traffickers who sold her into the notorious brothel area of Kamathipura in Mumbai, India, could track her down and kill her.

"I should have listened to my village schoolteacher who told me not to be taken in by false promises of a job abroad," she told IRIN, expressing regret that she had left her village in Banke, nearly 600km southwest of Kathmandu, without even informing her parents.

"There are so many innocent village girls who have been lured by traffickers with false promises of earning a lot of money in a foreign country," said Sushma.

Anti girl-trafficking activists have asked the local police authorities, especially those stationed near the open Nepal-Indian border, to be on the lookout for any young underage girls leaving the country.

In the last week alone a prominent local non-governmental organisation (NGO), Maiti Nepal, intercepted around 15 girls, half of whom were underage. "They were all carrying fake passports and didn't even know where they were travelling to," said activist Keshab Koirala from Maiti Nepal in Banke...


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