Six girls have been saved from a life of slavery
Six Girls Rescued
We are delighted to share the news that six girls have recently been rescued from hotels and guest houses in the remote region of Dolakha. This was a very challenging rescue that has taken weeks of planning and preparation.
Before the rescue, our staff convened meetings with the police, five government departments and a local charity partner. We were hoping to rescue some boys as well, but word got out, and they were quickly hidden away. We hope to return for them soon.
But the team did find six girls being forced to undertake menial tasks such as dishwashing, cooking and cleaning. Their ages ranged from 10 to 16, and all came from extremely challenging family situations. Some had never, ever been enrolled in school. All had been working as modern day slaves for months, and in some cases, years.
The working hours for the girls were horrific, starting at 5 or 6am and not finishing until 8.30 or 9pm. Most slept on the floor, whilst one even slept on a table. They did receive food from the hotel, but that was no consolation for the shouting and the beatings – and the terrible loss of their childhoods.
The girls are now safe at Marigold House, where they are resting, enjoying their new clothes and re-adjusting to not working every hour of the day. We have traced their families, but there will be many rigorous checks before they are allowed to go home – if indeed they can go home and remain safe. It may well be that they stay with us for a while longer.
Since the rescue, our team have received constant threats and harassment from the hotel owners by phone. These people are wealthy and well-connected, and they are saying things like "Don't you know who we are?" and "Just wait and see what happens if you don't return these children." (This particular district is rife with child trafficking, underage labour and child marriage, and it is almost accepted as normal.)
We are, however, working in a strong partnership with the government and the police and because of this, we are not scared of these people and their threats.
For now, the girls are safe and have started their recovery journeys, supported by trained counsellors and compassionate staff.
Three Siblings Rescued
Following the rescue of the six girls, we are pleased to share more good news, that we have rescued three more children, who are siblings. We found two sisters (aged 7 and 10), and their brother (12) working as domestic slaves. They are from the Western Rukum District of Nepal, which is many hours from Kathmandu.
Early information is that their father has been working in India for many months, and their mother has eloped with another man. They had been staying with an uncle and aunt, who could no longer keep them. So they were sent to work as domestic labourers in Kathmandu. The girls were working together at one house, whilst the boy was at another property nearby.
I am sure that you can see from the photos how young and vulnerable they are – and how utterly disgraceful it is that they should be forced to work as domestic slaves when they should be going to school and enjoying an innocent childhood. It makes me so angry.
As ever, I am ever so grateful for your support, which quite literally saves young lives like these.
Some of the youngest children we've ever rescued