The fallout from the Nepal earthquake tragedy, which has killed 8,000 and injured nearly 20,000, worsens by the day.
The death toll recorded till now is the highest ever recorded for such natural calamity!
In a sinister new development parents are being urged to protect children from roaming gangs of ruthless human traffickers, who, it is reported, earned $570 for every girl or boy they supply to their clients!
And the market in Nepal is wide open right now!
At least 950,000 children in Nepal are in makeshift tents, on the streets or simply out of school and will not be able to return for months unless urgent action is taken.
With all classrooms closed until May 29, in a country which in recent years has lost 200,000 girls to cross-border trafficking and exploitation, fears are now growing that children consigned to the streets or camps may be easy prey. Even some of the parents wouldn’t shy away from selling them off, given the destitute, homeless and food-less conditions! It is a scary situation there!
Official Nepal Government radio messages are now being broadcast warning parents not to leave their children unguarded and to look out for suspicious people trying to talk to girls in the many camps that have suddenly emerged.
Social workers in the country estimate that in normal times about 7,000 to 15,000 girls and young women every year are trafficked across the long border into Indian brothels. They are fearing a huge surge in numbers. MaitiNepal, an NGO working to prevent trafficking to India for forced sex work and to rescue and rehabilitate survivors, has claimed traffickers in that area are being paid upwards of 30,000 Indian rupees every time they supply a person.
Girls not recruited into prostitution may be sold on as domestic slaves in India and boys are taken into forced labour.
The escalating threat displaced children now face from child exploitation emphasizes the need for urgent humanitarian aid to get children off the streets. Preventing child abuse and getting children back into schools are two sides of the same coin of child protection.
“Preventing child abuse and getting children back into schools are two sides of the same coin of child protection.”
We are now seeing that the costs of an earthquake are not to be measured just in lost human lives and physical injuries – but the prolonged suffering that comes when traffickers exploit a crisis to permanently destroy these innocent lives.