ibnlive » World

May 19, 2006 at 01:17pm IST

Women trafficking on rise in Nepal

Kakarvitta (Nepal): Cross-border trafficking of women especially from across Nepal remains rampant.

The recent political turmoil in Nepal has only made things worse.

The problem is compounded by the fact that the Indo-Nepal border security in Nepal is in a shambles.

"I do cross over to India whenever I feel like, I have so many friends in India. Sometime in the future, I'd like to work there," says a Nepalese citizen Sabina.

Everyday, hundreds of girls like Sabina cross over to India in search of life and livelihood.

Hence the traffickers take advantage of this weak border security and grow their business.

The traffickers work professionaly as target families only after thorough observation.

Urmila Mallick had been forced to work as a sex-worker in Pune, after being cleverly duped into coming to India.

"I had been trying to fight a case against my husband for many years, but nothing happened. Two men came posing as lawyers and offered to help me if I went with them," says Urmila.

Use of pay-phones across the border help traffickers get girls while keeping their identity under wraps.

Once inside India, the preferred route is often through Bihar and the mode of transport is repeatedly changed to avoid detection.

The Girls then find their way to all the major cities and end up in brothels.

According to UN officials is the demand for younger women. The fear among clients is that by having sex with experienced women, the chances of contracting AIDS is higher.

"So, they will have sex with women with a reduced chance of getting the disease, as a result there is a demand for virgins for whom people will pay over the top rates," says chairman United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Gary Lewis.

Though a lot of the trafficking is within India itself, a large number of women from Nepal are pouring in.

But with improvement in the current Nepalese political scene, authorities say they will focus on the escalating problem.