More than 17,000 women and girls from Nepal become sex slaves every year. Many end up in India, China or other Southeast Asian countries, and roughly half of them are children according to a new report by CNN.
Sunday’s documentary, Nepal’s Stolen Children, tells the story of 2010 CNN’s Hero of the Year Anuradha Koirala who has spent nearly 20 years rescuing and rehabilitating victims of human trafficking. Koirala has rescued and given shelter to over 12,000 women and girls since 1993 by raiding brothels in India and patrolling the border between Nepal and India.
This story needs to be told, and to be heard.
It needs to because told because the world must take a stand against the fate of the Nepalese women and children, and because it echoes the tragedy unfolding in countries all around the world, including the U.S.
Look into the faces of the victims surrounding Koirala (center front) and any misperceptions about the ‘kind’ of women in prostitution will fall away. They are daughters and women stolen, sold or promised jobs, they are beaten, tortured and raped, sometimes by more than 30 men a day.
They are plied in dark alleys, massage parlors, truck stops, and nail salons. They are swapped, resold, shared and bussed in to meet the demand at large conferences and sporting events where men want to have ‘a good time.
The internet’s role
More and more often the sales are struck online. Transportation and delivery is scheduled online. Faked papers and arranged for online. And the women and children are forced to ‘offer’ their services online where it is harder for law enforcement to find them, and more convenient for their pimps who can pack in more ‘customers’ by managing the ‘schedules’ of these victims.
In the US, 76% of transactions for sex with underage girls are conducted via the Internet[i]. In sex tourism, Johns can preview and schedule the women and children they are most interested in abusing to ensure they will be ready and available during the John’s vacation.
According to the CNN article, this Sunday’s documentary will “share tales of victims coming to her [Koirala’s] shelter — broken in body and spirit, and often pregnant”. It will show how “a band of counselors, medics and teachers, some of whom are survivors of flesh trade themselves, work with the victims. “We provide medical treatment, psychological and legal counseling, formal court proceedings and criminal prosecution,” she added.” And it will show “a hospice for terminally ill patients suffering from AIDS. “It’s heart-breaking to see young girls suffering from sexually transmitted diseases at an age when they should be busy enjoying life and running around free,” Koirala said.”
Do not turn a blind eye to the fate of our women, daughters, mothers, nieces, aunts, and sisters. The Pretty Woman movie is a fairy tale, this documentary is reality.
Sunday June 26th 8pm on CNN. To see an overview, click on the video in the CNN article.
Watch it; then make a difference.
Reach out to organizations fighting human trafficking within your own communities to learn how you can help, and urge your State Attorney General to join the National Initiative of Attorneys General to make the case about human trafficking, help victims, prosecute traffickers and buyers and raise awareness to end demand.
Learn more in my blog Human trafficking Top Initiative for Incoming NAAG President Rob McKenna.
[i] (Sources: Justice Department, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)