Sex Trafficking

The NIAP is delighted to be playing its part through the Nepali and international creative community, that are involved in highlighting and seeking to see an end to the evil of Nepal’s internationally notorious sex traffick trade that sees thousands of its citizens, especially young women and children trafficked out of the country each year.  More information will be added to this section of the website concerning the work of graphic designers, artists, writers and others.

Creative Conscience logoHowever we are delighted to profile the work of UK-based award winning graphic designer and photographer Barsha Pant. Barsha, who won the 2014 illustration and animation section of the prestigious Creative Conscience Awards, was kindly introduced to the NIAP by Creative Conscience Founder and Creative Director Chrissy Levett. The UK Nepal Friendship Society initiated NIAP will be partnering with the Creative Conscience organisation as a result of the shared perspectives of the arts as the most effective medium for effecting equality, emancipation, social justice values and objectives.

You can read more about Barsha Pant’s work below:

Sex Trafficking & Nepal:

Work by UK-based Nepali graphic designer and photographer Barsha Pant, winner of the 2014 illustration & animation section of the prestigious Creative Conscience Awards. Barsha designed a poster (appearing soon on this page) that graphically highlights the whole process of the infamous sex trafficking trade in Nepal. The poster Barsha created was ground-breaking also through the fact that it included descriptive text in Nepali as well as English, being designed as a practical tool for helping viewers in Nepal also recognise the stages of the process and signs of trafficking activity to potential witnesses. Below is her brief for the poster, kindly provided to the NIAP by Creative Conscious Founder and Creative Director, Chrissy Levett.

Project Brief:
Nepal may be known for natural beauty and Mount Everest, but there is a dark side to this small, picturesque country. Women and girls are being bought, sold and smuggled across the Nepal India border. Although reliable data on the scope of the issue is difficult to gather, Unicef reports that as many as 7,000 women and girls are trafficked out of Nepal to India every year, and around 200,000 are now working in Indian brothels. These girls are as young as 7 years old, brought from poor, remote villages in Nepal in exchange for money or education in Kathmandu.

The sex trafficking starts with the customers in Nepal, who might be anyone: a stranger with a fake job to offer — or a girl’s own brother in law. Then someone else escorts the women across the open border and out of the country. Anti-trafficking workers have started to train border police officers to be on the lookout for scared-looking women, suspicious couples or men with multiple women. But border police officers are not paid much. Many are bribed as part of the vast criminal network of trafficking between India and Nepal.

I have made an illustrative poster as many people in these remotes areas cannot read or write the pictures will help people who are illiterate and for people who can read I have written in Nepali scripture. I hope that this will be beneficial for people to understand the dark side of their country.

Project Background:
Nepali girls are seen as attractive, due to their light skin. Nepali virgins are believed to cure HIV. For debt bondage, they are valuable for traffickers because they have been trained to perform many domestic tasks from a very young age. Because, girls are almost always uneducated, and their illiteracy and lack of employable skills allow them to be easily persuaded by predators, or by their own parents, to leave home to earn money elsewhere.

The border between Nepal and India is quite open and anyone can cross without a passport or visa. Over recent years, over 200,000 young Nepali girls have been stolen from their homes and forced into sex slavery in the red light districts of India. Every year, nearly 15,000 Nepali girls and women are trafficked to India’s four main cities—Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, and Bangalore—for bondage-based commercial sex. In addition, nearly 7,000 women are trafficked to Persian Gulf countries each year. Nepali girls are also commonly trafficked to Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Trafficking is also a profitable business with global estimates of yearly profits from INTERPOL, UNICEF and the International Labour Organization (ILO) ranging from US$19 billion to $32 billion (Jones, 2012; Inter Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking, 2012). The causes of trafficking is because of the socioeconomic inequalities between countries, the vulnerability of children to manipulation and abuse, a demand or market for cheap or free labour, or a workforce who can be easily controlled and forced into criminal activity all drive child trafficking.

Poverty, war and a lack of equal opportunity can make it easy for traffickers to promise families a better life for their child in a stable, wealthy country such as the UK. Equally, a failure to uphold children’s rights, a lack of robust child protection services and living in abusive or neglectful circumstances can make children easy targets for traffickers to groom. Girls trafficked from Nepal to India are typically unmarried, illiterate and very young. The majority of trafficked girls are in the narrow age band of 7-18 years.

Please also visit Barsha’s website to learn more about her vision and inspirational photographic work