Each year about 12,000 Nepali
girls are sold by their
families, intentionally or
unwittingly, into a life of
sexual slavery in the brothels
Worldwide, the US State Department estimates that nearly half a million children are trafficked into the sex trade annually.
Lakshmi was sold by her stepfather to the intermediary for 800 Nepalese Rupees - less than $11.
McCormick suggests ways teenagers (and adults) can help:
Educate yourself by visiting her website (specifically the "For Teachers" and "Links" sections), then work to raise awareness among your friends and family members, your church or school. Write an essay for your school paper or a letter to your local paper or your congressman. Organize a student group at your school, then show a film about trafficking, invite a speaker, and raise or donate money. The cost of living in countries where trafficking takes place is very low; one week's allowance, for instance, could go a long way toward providing medicine, toys or books for the children of the red-light district, or could contribute to the work of organizations that stop trafficking and provide safety for victims.
"Let us remember: what hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander." - Eli Weisel.
interest for adults:
A Crime So Monstrous.
Inspired in part by Sold, in 2007 a BookBrowse member went to visit the Apne-Aap center in Koltata. Apne Aap (which means self-help in Hindi) is a community-based initiative that began in the red light area of Mumbai in 1998.
On her return, she sent a letter to the many friends and family who gave her contributions to take with her. Click here to read her letter.
This article was originally published in October 2006, and has been updated for the
April 2008 paperback release.
Click here to go to this issue.
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