Nepal has a long history as a source country for young girls and women being trafficked for sexual exploitation in India. In fact, in recent years there has been a growing awareness that there is also internal trafficking for sexual exploitation in the entertainment industry and for child labor. Many Nepali adult prostitutes in India enter the profession at the average age of 14-16 years as a result of trafficking and are kept enslaved and in debt bondage for approximately three to five years. Children are trafficked from Makwanpur and other Tarai districts to work as circus performers in India. Domestically, girls and young women are trafficked for work in massage parlors and cabin and dance restaurants in Kathmandu; while these girls are neither bonded or enslaved most have been the victims of deception as to the nature of the job. The conflict in Nepal also had a major role in increasing the numbers of girls migrating from the villages in search of employment who end up in these working places. In most cases, very few of these young women return to their villages due to the stigma and discrimination associated with their work and the lack of alternative income generating activities.
The Starting New Lives Project was funded by USAID to complement work being carried out by World Education for child victims of trafficking.
Education was the main strategy used both to support trafficking survivors and to prevent girls at risk from being trafficked. Other interventions included safe shelter and outreach into entertainment establishments where trafficking victims work.
There was a special focus on the Dalit and Tamang communities that have been more susceptible to trafficking.
World Education successfully implemented the Starting New Lives Project from 2006 to 2008. For further information about this project's activities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org