Human trafficking is a crisis in Nepal. Every year, up to 20,000 young girls from the poorest parts of the country are sold or lured by traffickers with promises of marriage or good jobs. Casualties of poverty, illiteracy and a caste system that does not value girls, they are forced into Indian brothels or domestic servitude. In either case, they are slaves. Many are HIV positive within two years, and dead before they reach twenty.
The way we combat this modern-day slavery is revolutionary and effective. We go into the villages where girls are at risk, and put those girls into school. For a small investment - $100 pays for everything: school fees, books, uniform, tutoring, mentoring - we can keep a girl safe and in school for an entire year. Educating those girls in danger of being trafficked and talking to the community about the risks, spreads awareness through the whole village. And traffickers stop going there.
We started with 54 at-risk girls 20 years ago and today have helped over 17,000. Where we once had to persuade each family, whole villages are now asking to be included. And with each year a girl stays in school, she learns more and gains confidence. The graduates are becoming community leaders and speaking out. They will marry later and educate their own daughters - breaking a vicious cycle.
Stop Girl Trafficking page
American Himalayan Foundation website