The Real Truth About Human Trafficking
- Over 20,000 girls are trafficked every year in Nepal. The economics of why this happens is straightforward.
- The average Nepali makes less than $1 per day and finding work and supporting family life is challenging.
- The average price for a trafficked person is $104 and girls are the main target for trafficking because they are valued less than boys
- Girls want to help support their families and improve their situations at home and traffickers prey on girls with that promise.
The average annual revenue of trafficking in Nepal is $2.09M, and this is just a one time transaction. Globally, trafficking is a 32 billion dollar industry. Most girls are sold 3-4 times before being released from the system. Not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars generated per year in using her as a prostitute without being compensated.
What is MOST important is that in a vast majority of cases, the families of these trafficked girls DO NOT choose to sell their girls into the system and DO NOT receive any funds for their daughters. So their daughters are taken from them on the premise that they will have better lives in another city.
Shakti Samuha, literally meaning, “The Power Group” is the only Nepal NGO run by trafficked survivors working to rescue, counsel, and reintegrate Nepali girls back to mainstream life.
In addition to their rehabilitation work, Banau also recognizes their passion to eradicate trafficking using their own personal stories to help educate other girls in the villages to prevent them from falling prey. They’ve been through so much and while their work in the handicraft workshop doesn’t erase the trauma they experienced, it does let them focus on creating beautiful pieces and creating waves of meaning to explain an event that otherwise felt infuriatingly unfair.
A More Personal Story
Read more about the stories of the women making your purchases. Please note, the names have been changed for security.
Kopila - Kopila grew up in the Morang district, in the eastern part of Nepal. Was she was 17 years old, her trusting neighbor, whom she called her aunt, promised her family a great job. Desparate for more money, her family sold her to their neighbor, on the promise of a better life. To her shock, she was trafficked to an Indian brother, and spent over a year there. She was found by the Indian police, who later brought her to Shakti. Kopila recently arrived at Shakti, and has excelled in the workshop. She loves making clothes and dream of running her own tailoring shop one day.
Sita: Its difficult to escape the chains of the Indian brothels, but sometimes girls find the courage. Sita grew up in the Dang district to a family of farmers. When she was 11, her parents had her drop out of school to make some extra money to support her family. As an 11 yr-old, you do whatever your family needs, so she began working in a relatives house, helping out with cleaning and chores. It was at this house that she was approached by a lady, who offered her a great job in India. Like many girls in Nepal, when they arrived in India, they find out they've been tricked, and Sita was forced to work at a brothel. Entertaining 20-25 men on average per day, Sita ran away just a few months in, and with the help of Prabashi Nepali Mitra Manch (PNMM), was returned to Nepal. She sees jewelry making as her way of living a dignified life.
Pranita - Pranita is 18 and one of the newer girls at Shakti. Pranita grew up in a very poor village, and when she was in 10th grade, she was offered a job as a receptionist in a manufacturing company. Seeing that job as a way to contribue to her family, Pranita took the role. Howver, when she arrived at the job, she was taken to a far away hotel room where she says, “I was given a juice and told to drink it all.” Pranita was raped and then sold to a brothel. Pranita spent 3 years working in the brothels. Despite what she’s experienced, she is having an impressive recovery and gets happiness seeing other women wear the jewelry that she creates.
Help Us Spread The Message
What we learned is that many people are unaware of the reality of human trafficking around the world. Help us create awareness by sharing our site with your friends and family. One person has the power to change a life or create an opportunity, and we should all try.