[UPDATE: Another earthquake (7.3 magnitude) shook up eastern Nepal today; at least 37 people have been killed, according to BBC News. Please pray for the people of Nepal at this tumultuous time!]
Nepal (MNN) — The UN is calling for more help in Nepal. Over $400 million is needed for recovery efforts, the organization reports; only $22 million has come in so far.
Non-government groups (NGOs) working in Nepal are also calling for assistance. They need help safeguarding quake survivors from child traffickers.
“The need is so immense right now,” notes India Partners’ Sarah Sparks.
“This is a great opportunity for people that are traffickers; they prey on those women that are so desperate for any sort of help.”
As MNN shared yesterday, traffickers are reportedly posing as aid workers to access vulnerable women and children they can sell into the sex trade. A couple of weeks ago, the Indian Armed Border Force (SSB) rescued four trafficked children in a border town.
“All the areas which have been affected, these are the areas…where 80% of the children are trafficked,” Anuradha Koirala told Voice of America recently. “Very few people are concentrating on this issue. We think these children are most vulnerable.”
Ask the Lord to protect vulnerable kids from child traffickers.
With schools destroyed and most security officials preoccupied, it’s easy for traffickers to scoop kids up and sell them into the sex trade.
According to UNICEF, nearly 1 million Nepalese children will be unable to attend school in the near future because of the earthquake. Some 24,000 classrooms were damaged or destroyed, UNICEF reports.
In addition, most Nepalese and Indian security forces are involved in rescue and recovery efforts. Thus, few resources or personnel are left to combat child traffickers.
“The people who are preying on them–the traffickers–are taking this as an opportunity,” says Sparks.
You can do something about it.
“Meet that immediate need,” Sparks urges. “Baptist Global Response and Food for the Hungry are meeting the immediate need(s) of the earthquake survivors, so I would encourage listeners to give to these organizations.
“But, on the long-term end, India Partners does have a shelter for children and a counseling center for women.”
Fighting child traffickers long-term
There are currently 5 million children of sex workers in India, the ministry reports. Growing up in the brothels, the children are constantly surrounded by exploiters. According to India Partners, this puts kids at an “extremely high risk” of being abused and/or trafficked.
Through India Partners, you can rescue kids from child traffickers.
By supporting India Partners’ anti-trafficking ministry, you can provide a literal and spiritual safe haven for at-risk children. Kids living at the ministry’s safe home receive shelter, food, clothing, medical care, counseling, and an education.
Most importantly, children are introduced to the only One they can call Savior: Jesus Christ.
“We have children worshiping there and learning that they are loved. [This] is so significant to these kids, who watch their moms being abused and beaten and used,” shares Sparks.
Even if mothers are still trapped in the sex trade, they are allowed to spend time with their children in India Partners’ safe house. Many times, Sparks shares, the mothers are so amazed by the transformation taking place in their children that they want to learn about Jesus, too.
“We’ve had success in both watching the moms come out [of the sex trade], as well as seeing the kids be transformed and beginning to recognize that they are loved, they are unique, they’re special,” says Sparks.