Traffickers swarm Nepal in aftermath of earthquake; our grassroots prevention campaign broadens

July 18, 2015

Traffickers swarm Nepal in aftermath of earthquake; our grassroots prevention campaign broadens

Photo: Nepali schoolgirls gathered for a training session led by our staff. They are taught how to spot and avoid the deceptions of traffickers.

In the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake, sex traffickers are exploiting the devastation to snatch thousands of women for brothels across Asia. The death toll from April’s disaster has reached 7,566, with hundreds of thousands left homeless, mainly in poor rural communities. Tragically, criminal gangs are taking advantage of people’s desperation by masquerading as relief workers in the chaos left by the earthquake. Thankfully, our native team is well suited to respond to this tragedy by broadening their already extensive trafficking awareness programs.

We organize frequent trafficking awareness counseling classes for girls ages 15-18 in the heavily-trafficked areas, and for women of all ages in other areas. This month we reached 88 girls and women through our training classes which are styled in a workshop and discussion format, and we also reached hundreds more at our border counseling station. All of the teachers and students are thankful for our trafficking awareness program which allows the girls to talk about guilt, fear, shame, anger, and their safety — they are encouraged to open up and learn from each other’s experiences. They are also taught to identify different problems and dangerous situations, and they are given the solutions.

They are taught to stay away from strangers, to know the difference between true love and flattery from a stranger, to stay away from the lure of promised money and employment, to not exchange phone numbers or other information on Facebook, to understand their own responsibility towards their family and community, how to develop self-dignity and respect, and to know the laws and punishments regarding human trafficking.