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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month
You Can Help Children at Risk in Himalayan Mountain Cities

By Katherine Jones
Special to ASSIST News Service

NEPAL (ANS) -- April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and therefore I would like to highlight the plight of children in the Himalayan Mountains. Children are in crisis in that part of the world. Many are living on the streets due to internal conflict, poverty, corruption, and illiteracy.

Homeless child on the street. There are over 3,000 street children in Kathmandu.
(Photo: http://carmensandiegotravel.blogspot.com)

Thousands of children are born into a tribal type of slavery, others are born into brothels in a country other than their own and many more live on the streets. Children are daily seeking food and a safe place to sleep, all the while being subjected to child sex tourism and human trafficking.

Nepal’s slave markets headlines are, “Buy one and get one free!

In 2010, many Kamiyas families began to experience freedom for the first time. Entire families enslaved are now free! It all began when a US based Indian businessman from New Hampshire began buying families their freedom; 52 to be exact! Now 200,000 Kamiyas are free and of that number the majority are adolescents and teenagers enslaved from birth! Now families are receiving some assistance in beginning new businesses such as farming, teaching, plumbing, and welding etc. Many times it only costs $160-$200 US to buy an entire family!

Homeless street children

Other children are born into a different kind of slavery that of the brothels of Bombay India, where their mothers work in the cages and caves of sex slavery establishments. One million children are trafficked globally.

Many children in the Himalayan Mountains have no one to protect them and family members are too poor to feed them. Children are living in squalor with horror and tormented filled days and nights, some serving 20 or more customers per day in the sex trade.

In Nepal over 10,000 girls are trafficked each year. The population in one Himalayan Mountain country is now close to 30 million people. (www.ciafactbook.gov) and Resisting Trafficking in Women: Auditing Testimonies and Restoration Approaches Kathmandu Himalayan Rights Monitors 2003). Over 60% of prostituted women and girls working in Mumbai red light districts—where majority of Nepalese are trafficked, are suspected to be HIV positive. (Sex Slaves Virago Press London 2000) Over 20% of these females are under the age of 16yrs. (www.cwin-nepal.org/pressroomfactsheet/index.htm )

Boys 'enjoying' a meager meal

Many children in Nepal cities live on the capitol city streets; an estimate is close to 1500 boys and girls. It is suspected many more unaccounted for also live on the streets, over several hundred girls under the age of twelve. Street kids are subjected to child sex tourism unless someone cares enough to interne.

In the Himalayan Mountains many families do not have enough food for everyone in the family to eat daily. A few years ago, a six year old fatherless boy living at home but mostly walking the streets in the daylight hours, begging for food was murdered for a mere $2 US.

Street girls are usually not at high risk for murder but used by tourists and local truckers stopping for a tea break in local shops. Many girls are abandoned with their cousins and brothers on city streets, some only four or five years old. These young innocent ones are greatly at risk of being trafficked across borders far away from their homeland.

A significant number of boys are disabled. Some boys are sold between the ages of 10 and 18 years old to meet the growing demand for traveling bisexual tourists. The disabled boys are considered cursed by their families and friends and many put out of their homes to fend for themselves, They are especially vulnerable to those dealing in sex trafficking, some are made into eunuchs and sent across the borders into India. (www.ecpat.org/aboutcusec.) For survival many exchange sex for food.

The sad face of a street child

US based, Faces of Hidden Slavery is providing New Beginnings Homes for special needs girls five or six years of age living on city streets, to be nurtured and cared for and receive an education. New Beginnings Homes for Girls will assist girls in two major Himalayan Mountain cities.

FOHS is also planning a home for disabled boys in the Himalayan Mountains to give them an education and teach them a trade so they can begin a business and be self-supporting.

If you would like to be a part of saving children in the Himalayan Mountains and changing a life you may do so by going to: www.facesofhiddenslavery.org to learn how you can make a difference please check it out now:

* You can pray for the children and for local pastors who volunteer to be foster care providers and adopted parents for the street children.

* You may also sponsor one of the foster homes for only three dollars a day! (The price of a Starbucks latte!) Or join with a friend and relative to sponsor a home.

* You may sponsor a new permanent home (apartments) to house ten girls providing a family atmosphere.

To find out how you can help build and set up “New Beginnings Homes,” and leave a legacy now, just go to: www.facesofhiddenslavery.org


Katherine Jones is freelance writer specializing in covering South Asia.


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