Girls vulnerable after earthquake Nepal

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The earthquake in Nepal, which killed more than a thousand, may also cause casualties among the survivors, fears our photographer Nomad. The photographer works for a foundation dedicated to girls in Nepal who are victims of human trafficking and child prostitution.

Nepal – In the Netherlands, as in the rest of the world, people have started donating money for the earthquake victims in Nepal. The earthquake registered a 7.8 on the Richter scale and caused incredible devastation in the impoverished country.

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Earthquake Nepal

The donations will be used to rebuild houses, for tarpaulins, medical supplies and drinking water. According to the photographer, who in recent years traveled several times to the area, more than a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line. “The earthquake is not only a huge disaster because of the many casualties and destruction, but it makes vulnerable children and especially girls, even more vulnerable.”

Child prostitution

“Nepal is a beautiful country but it also has a dark side. It is a destination for child sex tourism. And as if that was not bad enough, children are trafficked to the Middle East and India. What you see is that girls because of their poverty are easy victims of human traffickers.

Sometimes they are lured into prostitution, by promising them a marriage or well-paid job in India. Instead, they are sold to brothels in India or in Nepal itself.

 

It is estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 women and girls are trafficked each year to India. And some 7500 in Nepal itself. Children represent a quarter of the sex industry. “Some are only 12 years,” says the photographer.

Chaos

“Right now – in this chaos – girls are more at risk to get into the clutches of trafficker.  Everyone has lost the overview. And we are talking about a country where under normal circumstances  girls are being plucked from the streets, traded and sold. ….

I have been fortunate to be able to be in contact with Nepal, which is not easy, since the lines are constantly busy. One of our partners of Free a Girl, for whom I work, is now engaged in emergency aid to victims of the disaster.

They have rescued children and they are taken care of in one of the shelters where we normally house girls liberated from prostitution. Obviously the children are upset.

Desaster Nepal and survivers Nomad&Villager

Aftershocks

Because of the possible aftershocks the children sleep outside. They are cold and wet, but at least they are safe from anybody wanting to take disadvantage of the situation.”

Text: Anneke de Bundel – Images: Nicole Franken

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