In Nepal, a small country in South Asia, hundreds of children are trafficked into work as sexual slaves each year. While nonprofits like Maiti Nepal have emerged to fight, prevent, and assist victims of sex trafficking, political, social, and economic circumstances in and around Nepal have created conditions where child slavery and trafficking persist.
A film that documents the personal, social and human rights abuses of child trafficking, "The Day My God Died" was recently screened at Harvard University (I found the video via the Geo Blog). A panel discussed the film following the screening and was hosted by the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Anuradha Koirala, Founder and Executive Director of Maiti Nepal, was among the panelists.
In attendance were academics, journalists, and anti-trafficking/slavery activists. One of my favorite questions was: "What do you think needs to happen in the Nepal, India and the US to change the social mindset so that...you can not buy another human being, that it will not be tolerated." The question was asked by a woman working to curb the commercial sex trade through reducing demand for commercial sex among men.
Koirala responded without hesitation: "Education. Education. Education. Awareness."
Watch this short video - or find a way to view the film. I'll be looking for an opportunity to see it, as well!
Since 2001 the US government has supported anti-trafficking programs in Nepal. For more information on the U.S. anti-trafficking policy in Asia read this November 2009 USAID Trafficking in Persons report.