April’s devastating earthquake has created an unfortunate business opportunity for predatory human traffickers. Many Nepalis are still living like refugees. With infrastructure in tatters, families are struggling to get by and parents are distraught over living conditions for their children.
In Sindhupalchowk district, which was particularly hard hit, traffickers posing as earthquake relief workers have persuaded some families to send their children away from home. Parents have been told their kids will be placed temporarily in safe housing and receive a good education. In reality, the children are sold into slavery as domestic servants.
Fortunately, awareness raising and quick action by Free the Slaves and our front-line partner group GMSP has led to the rescue of six boys, aged 8 to 12. During community training about the increased risk of trafficking in the post-earthquake environment, parents alerted GMSP activists that these boys had already left the village. The District Child Welfare Board was notified, and the boys were tracked down and returned to their homes.
The traffickers got away, and the host families claimed they didn’t know the children had been trafficked. But the rescue of these six boys demonstrates that community education can deliver concrete results.
Read more about our successes in Nepal on our Nepal webpage.