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6 The New Paper

Thursday, 15 March, 2012 www.nayapatrika.com

Editorial

Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral. John Burroughs, American naturalist and essayist

Nepalese Minors in Indian Brothels

EDITORIAL

The Fringe Power Bargain is deep rooted in culture, politics, business and person. A person is in constant bargain with himself and with others in the surrounding. Bargainers’ status, grounding and organization are crucial to the outcome of the propositions. The lead parties have continuously dominated fringe parties in the present transitional legislative. Though some of them have managed to be the fourth axis in the national politics, they have limited it to secure the rights of whom they represent and their influence on national policy and legislation remains minimal. Besides this four dominant actors, the fifth force comprising of heterogeneous political actors with differing and sometime opposing ideological forces, have managed to come together. This loose alliance’s - unified on common grounds of ‘fringeness’- initiative to saddle the major powers, is appreciable. At least there are some parties in the Legislative who dare to oppose and to tame the three or possibly, the four sharks in the House. Their combined bargain slashed the fifteen-day timeframe demanded by the sharks to ten-days. Their common and combined voice against providing the fifteen days to the major political parties, to resolve the contentions seen in the making of the new constitution, has exemplified the power of the ‘margin.’ As lawmakers, either from the ‘shark’ or the ‘jelly-fish’ family, share equal responsibility and authority to draft the constitution and institutionalize peace in the country. Remaining quiet and dumb and succumbing to ‘small-ness’ can only make ‘God of Small Things’. But they have mega tasks to perform and it is only through combined and integrated efforts that they can put themselves in the power, to strike the right bargain and confront the lead political forces.

Peaceful approach to Syria The high-level meeting on the current situation in the Middle East held by the United Nations Security Council on Monday once again revealed the divide in the international community over how to end the crisis in Syria. In essence, there is a stark division between those who advocate the world body pursue political solutions and those who endorse more aggressive approaches, ranging from arming civilians in Syria to a forced regime change. A lasting solution to a crisis like Syria’s does require the extensive engagement of the international community, with the United Nations playing a leading role. But all the initiatives should be in line with the purpose and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations. Times have changed and we no longer live in an era when a few big powers can assume they have the right to dictate the fate of smaller countries. Respect for sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, which are enshrined in the UN Charter, must prevail. Any external interference in a sovereign state runs counter to the UN Charter and international law. In this regard, NATO’s interference in Libya offers lessons that the world community would do well to learn. The UN resolutions on Libya were usurped by the Western powers in order that they might militarily intervene in the country. Despite achieving their goal of a forced regime change, the military intervention has only increased the suffering of the Libyan people. China, among many other countries including Russia and India, insists political settlement is a better choice and opposes foreign intervention in the internal affairs of Syria under the pretext of “humanitarianism”. It joined Russia in vetoing council resolutions on Syria last month, saying they were unbalanced and only sought to replace President Bashar al-Assad. China has also offered to provide $2 million worth of humanitarian aid to Syria and expressed its readiness to step up communication and cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council on Syria. To prevent more humanitarian disasters and save more lives in Syria is the top priority right now. And it is essential that the proposed approaches should be realistic and feasible. It is imperative that there is an immediate ceasefire in Syria, to enable the unhindered access of humanitarian aid to those in need and to pave the way for the early launch of political dialogue. Credit: China Daily

Nabin Kumar Chhetri

S

ex slavery is a sadistic and extreme form of human crime. Every year, thousands of Nepalese girls are trafficked into Indian brothels to feed the booming demand of the Indian sex industry. There are thousands more, who have already been covertly living in various brothels of India. The majority of the trafficked girls are lured by pimps and traffickers. The reality is heart-rending, as the huge numbers of girls, sold to these brothels as sex slaves, are minors. According to a UN report, Asia has about one million children engaged in sex trade. In the South Asian context, India has the largest sex industry. There are approximately 2,50,000 Nepalese girls, forced to live in a servile brothel atmosphere. The number of trafficked girls may be more, as there is no exact measure to monitor the flow. The United Nation estimates that the number of girls trafficked from Nepal every year, across the Indian border, are more than seven thousand. This means that every day, almost twenty girls leave Nepal to become a part of this gruesome existence. Activists claim that, out of the total number, twenty percent of the girls are below sixteen years of age. The girls are forced to live inside claustrophobic rooms, far from their families and friends for years and years. The thresholds of the brothels are their limit. They are brutally penalized for going beyond that limit without the permission of the owner. Inside the brothel, disobedience means death. However, exploitation of minors is not subjected to India alone; it has become a solemn issue within Nepal. The dance bars, cabin restaurants, massage parlors in Kathmandu have become potential venues for exploiting girls. They are coerced by the owners to entertain their clients. Being a part of the brothel is not their choice. The

The major reason for the overwhelming success of girl trafficking is poor law enforcement. The only way to curb this problem is the introduction of strict trafficking laws. pimps who lure these innocent girls are often, close acquaintances of the victims. Girls as young as nine years are sold. These immature girls are often hidden on lofts and underground cellars when the brothels are raided. Every day, they have to go through a wave of abuses. Girls are forced to service as much as forty men per day. They have to bear the constant tortures of the clients, pimps, brothel owners and the police. Incidents such as beating,

acid attack, detention and mass rapes are common. Those who have tried to escape, have also been occasionally murdered. Nicholas Kristoff, a New York Times correspondent argues that, ‘India probably has more modern slaves than any other country.’ The main epicenters of the sex trafficking industry are Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Calcutta. These cities are

like magnets, enticing pimps to supply girls from the rural areas. In Nepal; Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot and the Western belts are more prone to sex trafficking. There are a lot of parents in these areas, who have been waiting for their missing daughters. They believe that their daughters are earning a decent living, by working hard in Indian cities, but the reality is different. Sushma, one of the girls who managed to run away from the brothel was sold for as little as ten thousand rupees. The girls who are sold are unaware of the price paid to the traffickers. It depends upon the age and fairness of the girl. It takes them many years to repay the amount they are traded for. Organization like the Maiti Nepal, has made a big difference in curtailing the number of girls being trafficked to India. However due to the porous border, it is easy for the traffickers to pursue their trade. Local NGOs and other humanitarian organizations can play decisive roles in raising awareness about the issue. The major reason for the overwhelming success of girl trafficking is poor law enforcement. The only way to curb this problem is the introduction of strict trafficking laws. Apart from the legal directives, frequent social awareness campaigns, must be launched within our social periphery. The girls sold in the brothels are psychologically wounded. Proper rehabilitation centers, like the Maiti Nepal must be set up at different areas of Nepal, to cater to the need of the victims. These children, who are our daughters and our sisters, have never been our priority. We have to acknowledge the abuse, the trafficked children are facing and do something about it. The trend of placing premature Nepalese girls for sale in Indian brothels should be immediately stopped once and for all. Credit: www.eurasiareview .com

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NEPALESE MINORS IN INDIAN BROTHELS