It’s international day of the Girl Child Today, and it’s time to highlight the tragedy of young women and girls being trafficked every day in Nepal, the victims of crippling poverty, harsh economics and naivety. You can help change this heartbreaking reality, simply by buying some beautiful paper products from Traidcraft, the pioneering Fairtrade charity.
Every day, desperately poor families throughout Nepal, are persuaded to sell their female children, with the false promise of a better life. The figures are shocking, with 15,000 young women being trafficked each year in Nepal. In reality, many girls landing up in a horrific chain of sexual slavery, violence and abuse and are never seen or heard of again by their families, their fate unknown.
The Story of Prerana
Prerana is a heartbreaking example of a young Nepali girl still struggling to come to terms with what happened to her. She was trafficked when she was just nine years old. At first she was forced to work in a travelling circus in India, before being sold to a brothel, where she experienced years of abuse. Eventually, she managed to escape. Today, she is supported and protected by one of Traidcraft’s partner organizations in Nepal, the Get Paper Industry (GPI).
The GPI provides as lifeline for girls in Nepal. As well as employing more than 500 women who might otherwise struggle to find work and be at risk of trafficking, GPI’s charity arm GWP works to create a safety network for the women. The organisation has founded support groups educating girls and young women on the dangers of human trafficking and the warning signs of what to look out for.
Watch the Traidcraft Video on Trafficking now –
Mahesh Bhattarai, founder of GWP, said: “Our aim is to reach the girls before the traffickers. We are trying to build a safety net, bringing together the young girls into a group and giving a message to them that there is a way out. The women we work with understand that there are many people around them who will help protect them.”
Talking about her experience, Prerana says, “The main problem here is poverty. The traffickers look for vulnerable people as it’s easier to groom them. That’s why lots of traffickers come to our villages. They tell parents how much they can get for their children and convince them that children won’t suffer or have problems finding food, clothing or shelter.”
This is exactly what happened to another young girl, Shrijana Rai. One day she was approached by local people from her own village, who told her and her family that educated people could get better jobs by moving away, but they didn’t specify where or what kind of jobs.
Let’s Highlight the Problem of Human Trafficking in Nepal
Luckily Shrijana refused and with the help and support of GWP was able to arrange a loan to set up a beauty salon with her sister, which has become an escape route to a better future for themselves and their families. Shrijana is a wonderful example of how a small loan, and the right support can change lives. She and her sister now run a thriving beauty salon.
Larry Bush, Marketing Director at Traidcraft, said: “It’s shocking to think that the trafficking of young women happens every day in Nepal and largely goes ignored. It is stories such as Prerana’s and Shrijana’s that highlight exactly why our work with companies such as GPI is so vitally important.
“Many people think that fair trade simply equates to a fair wage. While ensuring a fair wage for producers is a hugely important part of what we do, the benefits of buying fair trade reach so much further, providing support and protection of the world’s most vulnerable people.
“That’s why we’re calling on the people of the UK to ‘Show You Care’ this International Day of the Girl Child, buying with thought and love to help us change the lives of women and girls for the better in Nepal and around the world.”
You can help change the fate of a young woman or girl in Nepal today, by buying certified fairtrade paper and other delightful gifts from the Traidcraft online shop here –