Human Traffic Watch

Teaching Her: One Woman’s Mission to Give Nepali Child Trafficking Survivors an Education

In Child Labor, Child Sex Trafficking, Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Social Justice on October 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Aawaaj is an organization in Nepal that helps disadvantaged girls, many who have been trafficked for labor, succeed in school. (Photo c/o Aawaaj)

When Irada Prajuli Gautam was just 19 years old, she traveled from her comfortable home in western Nepal to the rural midwestern area of the country to work as a nurse for Save the Children. A young Nepali woman whose parents had always encouraged her to pursue education, Gautam was overwhelmed by the scarcity and economical depression she found in this mountainous, roadless region that was recently wracked by political violence.

Here the brutal realities of poverty are felt most harshly by girls, who are married at very young ages, often verbally, physically and sexually abused, and regularly trafficked for the sex trade or child labor. Many girls, even if they live with stable families, have such overwhelming workloads at home that they cannot attend school. “I saw lots of girls who were not happy being a daughter,” Gautam says. “They faced discrimination on a family level and society at large. They were not getting equal love and care as boys.”

Gautam spent the next 10 years working in this area as a nurse before deciding that she could do more as a leader of a grassroots organization that would focus on changing the societal norms. “I saw misery and unbalance among the girls,” she says. “I felt like I had to give them a voice.”

Source: Take Part


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