Providing opportunity through education in Nepal
Founder of Saprinu, Brooke Laura explains, “It is the starting point at which people can begin to make informed decisions for their lives, i.e. not having to go abroad for work, sell their daughters into the sex trade, etc. That is our goal to uplift these communities through educational opportunities to enhance their lives, not change them or their culture but give them choices.”
In the competitive economic state the world is in today, cheap labor demands and immigration laws have forced an underground labor movement. Human trafficking in developing countries, like Nepal, has been and continues to be a huge problem that is all too often overlooked. There are usually no documents or records kept of those being trafficked, which makes it hard to enforce laws. This creates a high profit-low risk endeavor for traffickers.
The poor and uneducated are most vulnerable to trafficking. Trafficking agents promise good work, pay, and a better life. Many have a hard time finding work in Nepal and find themselves living in poverty without a promising future. The desire for a better life makes these opportunities to work abroad seem great. Men are usually taken to do hard, manual labor and often times don’t even get paid. They are not provided basic living needs and come to find that the better life they were promised was false. Some men will leave their work and live illegally in the foreign country they were sent to. They are left with no money, passports, documentation, and often times don’t speak the language.
While men are trafficked for manual labor, women are trafficked for sex. Sex trafficking works like supply and demand. Nepal has a large supply of young, poor, uneducated women who are desperate for a better life; and brothels in India have a large demand for young women. About 10,000-15,000 young women from Nepal are trafficked into India and sold as prostitutes each year. Their ages range from 7-24. Most come from poor, rural villages and are promised education and employment. Once they get to India they are often beaten and raped as part of an initiation. Sometimes even held in cages. They are hardly fed and don’t get paid. Sometimes they are forced to have sex with up to 40 clients a day. Unsafe practices makes the HIV and STD rates high. If a girl gets HIV she is sent home but is usually not accepted back into her community because of what she has been. Unsafe abortions are also common practices.
The UN explains how trafficking has many irreversible effects. The benefits from migration go to the traffickers instead of migrants and families, community, and government. This takes away from human capital that would otherwise be going back to the developing countries. Families fall apart through the neglect of children and elderly. Children are often forced to work instead of getting an education. This fuels the cycle of illiteracy and poverty. It causes public health issues when migrants return home as they often live and work in unsanitary condition.
Traffickers target uneducated population because they simply don’t know about the reality and dangers of trafficking. Traffickers know which regions of Nepal are most vulnerable send their recruiting agents there. This is one reason why it is so important to provide education for these underprivileged people.