People Against Sex Trafficking
By Natalie Ryan
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
By increasing the number of border stations more girls will be given the chance of a better future, rather than being forced into a life of sex slavery. Adding more safe houses will be providing education and awareness of the issue to Nepal while also providing safety for thousands of young girls. More women will receive an education and job training in the safe houses which will help them gain more power in a society where they have very little. This program also works to empower victims of sex trafficking and teach them how to support themselves economically. This gives them a chance to make a difference in other women’s lives and spread knowledge and empowerment to those who need it.
Sex trafficking is the use of “violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will” (Sex Trafficking). Examples include forced marriages and, more commonly, prostitution (Types of Human Trafficking).
- About 80% of human trafficking victims are females and up to 50% are minors (Facts).
- “The average age of entry into the sex trade industry is 13 years old” but can be as young as five years old (Facts).
Why does sex trafficking happen?
- False promises of employment or marriage and a better life if the victim will go with the trafficker. For example, a woman being offered a high-paying job then ending up being forced to work in a brothel in India (Kingdom Investment).
- Victims can be sold by their families, sometimes as debt bondage. This is when a woman in the family is sold to a trafficker in return for paying off the family’s debt.
Why is it so common in Nepal specifically?
- Patriarchal society with a lot of institutionalized sexism which results in women having very little power in Nepal (Stallard, 2.2).
- The majority of women in Nepal are uneducated and illiterate. The early childhood education attendance rate is around only 31% for females (Stallard, 2.2).
- A lot of poverty leads to a feeling of hopelessness and a belief that there is no other choice. A woman can also be seen as a burden in the family because she cannot support herself economically which puts her at risk of being sold (Stallard 2.2).
About 12,000 women are trafficked over the border from Nepal into India each year (Anti-Trafficking Work). This border is a highway about 600 miles long with open borders so anyone can travel between Nepal and India with no passports or visas (Trafficking in Nepal). Eternal Threads has 13 border stations along this highway to save women from human trafficking. They save up to 15 girls per month per border station. That adds up to over 2,000 a year, which is a huge chunk of the 12,000 that go across each year (Trafficking in Nepal).
This will be a worthwhile cause because it will affect so many young women in Nepal alone, and this large of a change will most definitely spread. It can be seen how quickly other countries will follow Nepal’s lead because it has happened before with other countries. Sweden created laws to fight sex trafficking including the Kvinnofrid law which “makes it illegal to buy sex, but not to sell sex" (Jesionka). The hope was that this law would decrease instances of human trafficking and the demand for prostitution. "After being widely debated, the law was later adopted by Norway and Iceland, though measuring the impact of the laws has still been difficult” (Jesionka). Even if this law was not successful at reducing incidences sex trafficking, it was successful at getting other countries involved and talking about the issue. By showing less tolerance for trafficking in Nepal, more countries will follow and changes will spread.
More about Eternal Threads and The Red Thread Movement
"Anti-Trafficking Work In Nepal - Eternal Threads." Eternal Threads. Eternal Threads. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <http://eternalthreads.org/anti-trafficking-work-nepal/>.
"Category Archives: Nepal." Red Thread Movement. WordPress, 19 Apr. 2013. Web. 18 Jan. 2016. <https://redthreadmovement.wordpress.com/category/nepal/>.
"Facts On Slavery." Red Thread Movement. Web. 18 Jan. 2016. <http://www.redthreadmovement.org/facts-on-slavery.html>.
Jesionka, Natalie. "What's Being Done to Stop Human Trafficking?" The Muse. The Muse. Web. 17 Jan. 2016. <https://www.themuse.com/advice/whats-being-done-to-stop-human-trafficking>.
"Kingdom Investment Nepal." Kingdom Investment Nepal. 8 Aug. 2014. Web. 18 Jan. 2016. <http://www.kinepal.org/web/uncategorized/why-and-how-does-trafficking-happen/>.
"Sex Trafficking." Polaris. Polaris, 13 Oct. 2015. Web. 17 Jan. 2016. <https://polarisproject.org/sex-trafficking>.
Stallard, Roisin. "Child Trafficking in Nepal: Causes and Consequences."Child Reach International. Childreach International, 1 Oct. 2013. Web. 17 Jan. 2016. <https://www.childreach.org.uk/sites/default/files/imce/Child-trafficking-in-Nepal-Causes-consequences-and-education-as-prevention.pdf>.
"Trafficking In Nepal." Red Thread Movement. Web. 18 Jan. 2016. <http://www.redthreadmovement.org/trafficking-in-nepal.html>.
"Types of Human Trafficking." Southern Arizona Against Slavery. 20 Dec. 2010. Web. 18 Jan. 2016. <http://saastucson.com/about-human-trafficking/types-of-human-trafficking/>.