Nepal has over 25,000 known AIDS victims, the majority of whom were infected when forced to work as prostitutes. Since 1996 the ILO has been supporting the government of Nepal to combat trafficking and new Time-Bound Programmes will provide education and vocational training for girls at risk.
Maya is 25 years old and dying from AIDS. She is one of Nepal’s 25'000 known AIDS victims, the majority of whom were infected when working as forced prostitutes.
Today she will be receiving a visit from Kamal, a young waiter who rescued her from a brothel in India. His two visits per month not only take care of her physical well-being, but also help her cope with a difficult past.
They sold me and went away. They said we’ll come back. I kept waiting. The brothel owner told me i would have to work. I cried so much. They said will your parents repay us? God, how much they beat us.
Out of 100 working prostitutes in India, 26 are estimated to be from Nepal. The majority are forced into the sex industry before they are barely ten years old, as this age is guaranteed to fetch a higher price. Demand is met by an organised system of trafficking which caters for varied tastes of its paying clients.
We come here to enjoy ourselves. We take our money’s worth. We are not responsible for their entire lives. (If 10 clients like you come to a girl every day, what will be her condition in 10 years time?) That’s her problem. If she’s not here, we won’t come.
The men just leave us here and then disappear. We don’t even know where we are. Once forced into prostitution, we think we will send home a little money. Our families are so poor. Let not our little sisters suffer our fate.
Since 1996 the ILO has been supporting the government of Nepal to combat trafficking, but the new ten year Time-Bound Programme launched in May 2001 will provide education and vocational training for girls at risk as well as economic alternatives to their families, its aim to finally eradicate trafficking in children.
P. Boonpala, IPEC
The problem is very serious. You know that so many women and children have lost their life. We need urgent action. Through the Time-bound programme, the ILO hopes that they can put an end to trafficking.
There is an urgency for the Time Bound Programme to be effective in order to prevent thousands of Maya’s peers from suffering the same fate as hers. Unlike other forgotten and stigmatised women however, she has Kamal to help her face her premature end.