Nepal (MNN) — Nepali police say they’ve rescued more than 7,000 people from human trafficking over the past five years. According to officials, 3,896 were under the age of 18.
It’s only a drop in the bucket, though. In the same period of time, the number of people trafficked across Nepal’s borders has gone up by 500-percent. In its 2018 Trafficking in Persons report, the U.S. State Department describes Nepal as a “source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.”
A porous border allows traffickers to supply brothels in Indian megacities like Delhi and Mumbai with a steady stream of modern-day slaves. UNICEF reports 12,000 children are trafficked to India from Nepal each year.
“There were many 14- and 15-year-olds. All had been trafficked from Nepal, Bangladesh and parts of India […] we were forced to entertain between four and 15 clients a day,” one rescued woman told the South China Morning Post.
John Puidate of Bibles For The World says they’re joining the fight against trafficking with a new Women’s Ministry initiative. “It’s kind of a different project than what we have done in the past but we are really feeling the leading of God in this,” he shares.
“Every life that can be rescued is a life that can be brought into a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Bringing hope to human trafficking victims
Operated by a ministry partner in Nepal, the new program helps women process the traumas they’ve endured and find gainful employment. So far, more than 80 women are enrolled.
“They are providing them employment in this enterprise that is a really solid job for them with a real type of career or future,” notes Puidate.
After being rescued, he explains, women begin a rehabilitation process. While they are going through that process or, once they are finished, women can begin learning new job skills through the Woman’s Ministry program.
“As part of this program…they have their own Bible study,” Puidate adds. “We were so blessed to be able to provide 50 copies of the whole Bible for them to use.”
Pray for salvation as these women and girls learn about Christ. Pray boldly for an end to human trafficking in Nepal. “It touches some pretty high levels,” Puidate notes.
“We just need to pray that God’s light would come into these situations and overcome these forces of evil.”
As described here, misunderstanding or direct involvement in trafficking by Nepali officials continues to present a major challenge. Police arrested one government official last year for allegedly exploiting two Nepali girls in sex trafficking in India. While he was awaiting trial, another trafficking conviction was uncovered and the man was sentenced to a six-year prison term.
Header image credit Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.