Living in the Terai region of Nepal, you never really forget that trafficking is a tragic and frightening reality for many. I travel to Birtamod by bus along the East West Highway. At various points on the three-hour trip signs like these appear beside the road.
The signs warn that when you marry, you must be careful that it is not a trap which will be followed by being sold. This can happen even if your parents, perhaps well-meaning but desperate, are arranging your marriage.
The second sign is the same. Watch out when you look for a job-especially “outside”.
Women and their families are so vulnerable. Poverty means decision making is tinged with desperation and limited education means decision making is clouded by ignorance. A terrible situation.
Organisations like Maiti Nepal rescue women who have been trafficked and try to educate women of the dangers in areas where trafficking is rife. Organisations like Sammunat Nepal try to give these women a way to earn their living so they are not so desperate.
We have had a couple of sad blog entries but really hope that next one will be a cause for celebration. Strap yourselves down!