Between 8,000 and 12,000 women and young girls disappear from Nepal every year, trafficked into sex slavery in the brothels of India and private households in the Middle East. Although successive government ministers in Nepal and India have promised to stop this evil trade, no effective action has taken place.
The small percentage of girls who are rescued or escape face a bleak future. Dissociated and usually shunned by family and village communities, they find it difficult to reintegrate into society or find work. Many return sick or dying. Others are cast out when they are too ill to work, and find their own way home. The average lifespan of a girl working in prostitution in India is 34 years.
We do not use the term sex slavery lightly. Most women tricked into the sex industry in India are instantly enslaved in debt bondage. Purchased from the traffickers for between £130 to £600 by the brothel owner, they work many years for no money, paying off supposed debt created by the provision of clothing, food, lodging, medication, etc, by their owners. Often drugged and gang-raped into submission, they live in continual fear. Beatings, burning and other forms of physical, sexual and psychological abuse are regular forms of control. Some women give birth to children conceived in the brothels, and torture of these children is another form of control over their mothers.
Trafficked girls lose their childhood, their innocence, their virginity, their families, their homes, their community, their chance of marriage, and in many cases their health, their future and their hope.
Read trafficked girls' stories.
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