Aug 29, 2016

Earthquake that First Shakes the Earth and Now Shaking Lives

By Dinbandhu Vats

As Nepal begins to recover from its deadliest disaster, the country’s youngest survivors are now at a higher risk for another calamity of getting sold into the human trafficking trade. The two earthquakes that rocked Nepal on April 25 and May 12, 2015 killed over 8,500 people and caused extensive loss to swathes of countryside in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Bengal that borders Nepal.

According to the Nepal government, the tiny Himalayan country stares at losses estimated at about 10 billion US dollar— nearly half of its gross domestic product of 19.64 billion US dollar. The United Nations estimates that 2.8 million people have been displaced after the earthquake and its aftershocks flattened their homes. Women have been disproportionately affected by disasters and the social breakdown that accompanies calamities has made them vulnerable to sexual abuse. Children need more than just material and physical relief after such an event. Confronted with scenes of destruction and death, many children have developed post-traumatic stress disorder. Left untreated, they could be prone to lasting psychological damage and emotional distress.

Human trafficking is reportedly rising post earthquake along the India-Nepal border and unsuspecting Nepalese minors are being sold in various big cities of India under the pretext of providing jobs. Traffickers often pose as recruiters, offering non-existent jobs to desperate young women and girls, whose plight has become worse after the earthquake. Where promise of jobs doesn’t work, fake marriage proposals are floated to entice young girls and their parents and ultimately force them in the flesh trade.

Around 15,000 girls from Nepal are trafficked for sex trade in Asian countries each year, according to a UN estimate. Violence against women is also a real and present danger. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFP) claims that more than 28,000 women may be at risk of gender-based violence in the aftermath of the earthquake. There are now fears that camps for those displaced by the earthquake are being targeted.

The massive earthquake in Nepal has also raises chances of spurt in child marriages as a disguise for the trafficking. According to CREHPA, a Nepalese group, which campaigns against child marriage, since there is risk of sexual assault on girls living in tents in Kathmandu after the quake, the families would be encouraged to marry off their daughters.12 Girls also may be married off because their parents have been killed, their families can no longer afford to keep them in school or because their schools were destroyed. More than 200 schools have been destroyed.

As per UNICEF, at least 245 children have been intercepted from being trafficked and unnecessarily or illegally placed in children’s care homes since the first earthquake hit Nepal almost two months ago. The recent spike in migration from Nepal to Indian states bordering the Himalayan country is suspected to be the outcome of human trafficking. Large number of trafficked girls and children from Nepal were rescued in Delhi airport while fleeing to Dubai.22 According to the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), mandated to guard Indo-Nepal frontier and collect intelligence on suspicious activities, a large number of victims were stopped along the Raxaul and Jogbani border in Bihar, Rupaidiha and Maharajganj in Uttar Pradesh and Jhulaghat in Uttarakhand. Trafficking incidents started to rise within a week after the quake.

PAIRVI along with partners from India and Nepal conducted a series of Consultations in Border States, which revealed huge spurt in migration and human trafficking along the border and National Consultation in New Delhi.

  1 comment:

  1. Nice blog and this is good to see that Nepal people are having some kind of relief and in this movement Patanjali rahatkosh trust is also providing his contribution. For more information Please visit site: - nepal earthquake


Popular Posts