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Human Trafficking
Street Children


The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                      

Kingdom of Nepal

Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with almost one-third of its population living below the poverty line. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for three-fourths of the population and accounting for about one-third of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural products, including pulses, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain..  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Nepal

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Nepal.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Prostitution of Nepalese girls rampant in Indian brothel, Kolkata, Nov 20, 2005

[accessed 23 February 2011]

''Young girls are trafficked from Nepal to brothels in Mumbai and Kolkata at an average age of twelve. They are trapped into the vicious cycle of prostitution, debt and slavery. By the time they are in their mid-twenties, they are at the dead end or 'cul-de-sac','' the study noted.

Child Hierodulic Servitude in India and Nepal

Anti-Slavery Society

[accessed 24 June 2011]

Hierodulic child prostitution is a generic term that the Society uses to describe religiously sanctioned child prostitution, and, specifically, those children engaged in religious cult prostitution.  However, nowadays, this original purpose has gone and, after dedication — usually at the age of 5 to 7 years of age — the child is often deflowered by the priest and then sold to the highest bidder.

Children remain easy prey for exploitation, violence

The Rising Nepal, Kathmandu, Aug. 11, 2008

[accessed 24 June 2011]

Street children are the most vulnerable lot. Sexual abuse is hidden but a widely prevalent suffering among them. No child is safe and away from this cauldron of suffering.  Approximately 99 per cent of them are physically and psychologically abused. Child sexual abuse may include fondling a child’s genitals, masturbation, oral-genital contact, digital penetration, and vaginal and anal intercourse.  The other ways a child can be abused with are direct physical contact, such as sex by exposures, voyeurism and child pornography, use of obscene language, also referred to as non-contact abuse, shows a research conducted jointly by CPSC NGO Nepal, CPCS INT Belgium and VOC Nepal.

Males are the predominant perpetrators of sexual abuse against street children. On average, there are three male abusers for every two female abusers. On an average, 40 per cent of sexually abusive episodes are perpetrated by street-living children and adults as well as 40 per cent by non-street living adults.  Non street-living adults include relatives, shop, hotel or restaurant owners and workers or any Nepali adult not living on the street. The street is clearly the chief location for all types of sexual abuses, accounting for one in three incidents occurring. – sccp


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT - Report on the scale, scope and context of the sexual exploitation of children  [PDF]

Neha Gauchan and Subha Nivedha Shanmuga Sundaram, ECPAT International, January 2020

[accessed 25 August 2020]

Desk review of existing information on the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in Nepal, South Asia. The overview gathers existing publicly available information on sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT), online child sexual exploitation (OCSE), trafficking of children for sexual purposes, sexual exploitation of children through prostitution, child early and forced marriage (CEFM) and identifies gaps, research needs, and recommendations.

Human Rights Reports » 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 10, 2020

[accessed 6 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - Commercial sexual exploitation of children remained a serious problem, according to NGOs. There were reports of boys and girls living on the streets and exploited in prostitution, including by tourists, and of underage girls employed in dance bars, massage parlors, and cabin restaurants (sometimes fronts for brothels). Enforcement was generally weak due to limited police investigation and capacity, and police sometimes arrested girls in commercial sexual exploitation. The minimum age for consensual sex is 18 years. The penalties for rape vary according to the age of the victim and the relationship.

There is no specific law against child pornography, but the law stipulates that no person can involve or use a child for an immoral profession, and photographs cannot be taken or distributed for the purpose of engaging a child in an immoral profession. Additionally, photographs that tarnish the character of the child may not be published, exhibited, or distributed. The legal framework, however, does not explicitly prohibit the use of a child in the production of pornography.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 23 February 2011]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - The government has reported a range of estimates for the number of child trafficking victims.  Some 5,000 to 12,000 girls may be trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation annually, and as many as 200,000 trafficked Nepalese girls are estimated to reside in Indian brothels..  Girls as young as 9 years old have been trafficked.  In 2001, a local NGO recorded 265 cases of girl trafficking victims, of which 34 percent were below 16 years of age.  While trafficking of children often leads to their sexual exploitation, there is also demand for trafficked boys and girls to work in the informal labor sector.  A 2001, study found 30 percent of commercial sex workers in Kathmandu were below 18 years old.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 3 June 2005

[accessed 23 February 2011]

[87] While noting the efforts taken by the State party to eliminate the phenomenon of sexual exploitation of children, the Committee is gravely concerned by the large number of children in the State party who are sexually exploited. The Committee is of the view that insufficient efforts have been taken to protect the particularly vulnerable groups of children from sexual exploitation. Specifically, the Committee notes with concern that children of lower castes are disproportionately represented among the sex workers, and about the persistence of the customary practice known as badi, whereby young girls of the Bedi caste are forced into prostitution.

[88] The Committee is also concerned at the low rate of prosecutions for perpetrators of sexual exploitation of children and that there is little in the way of public campaigns to educate the population of the laws governing sexual exploitation.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, 24/09/2001

[accessed 19 September 2011]

18. The Committee is deeply concerned at the high number of women and girls being trafficked for prostitution. The Committee also regrets the continuation of polygamy and the practices or dowry, Deuki and prostitution among the Bedi caste, particularly in rural areas.

35. The Committee is deeply concerned that the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the State party is spreading at an alarming rate due to commercial sex and trafficking of women and children, and sex tourism.

Rescuing girls from sex slavery

Ebonne Ruffins, Cable News Network CNN, Kathmandu, April 30, 2010

[accessed 23 February 2011]

The daughter of Nepalese peasant farmers, Geeta -- now 26 -- had been sold to a brothel in India by a member of her extended family. The family member had duped Geeta's visually impaired mother into believing her daughter would get work at a clothing company in Nepal.   "The brothel where I was ... there [were] many customers coming in every day. The owner used to verbally abuse us, and if we didn't comply, [she] would start beating us with wires, rods and hot spoons."   It was not until Geeta was 14 that a police officer rescued her and brought her to a safe house compound run by Anuradha Koirala. The 61-year-old woman and her group, Maiti Nepal, have been fighting for more than 16 years to rescue and rehabilitate thousands of Nepal's sex trafficking victims.

Human trafficking from Nepal on rise

Mohan Budhair, Kathmandu Post, Paliya India, 8 September 2006

[accessed 23 February 2011]

[page 22] Trafficking of Nepalese women and children into India, especially from the western districts, has increased significantly in recent days due to lax security at border checkpoints.

A large number of women and children are being trafficked into India from checkpoints west of Butwal, representatives of several Indian and Nepalese non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and security officials stated during an interaction on 'controlling cross-border human trafficking'.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – NEPALNepal developed a Policy and Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Women and Children in 1998 that was approved by the Cabinet in July 1999. The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) accepts that the Plan of Action has a number of loopholes, and its effectiveness needs to be strengthened.

Report On Laws And Legal Procedures Concerning The Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of Children In Nepal [PDF]

ECPAT International in collaboration with Sapana Pradhan-Malla, President, Forum for Women, Law and Development FWLD, November 2004 -- A Joint Initiative by ECPAT International and Plan International to Combat the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

[accessed 13 Aug  2013]

The paper finds that children in Nepal are not protected sufficiently against commercial sexual exploitation, it lacks a comprehensive legal framework and fails to enforce existing laws and legal procedures.

Duty to family & prostitution

Reuters, June 7, 2000

[accessed 24 June 2011]

Grinding poverty and a sense of duty to family can push some girls as young as seven across national borders and into prostitution, according to experts at a UN global women's conference.  At a discussion on trafficking of women and girls on Tuesday, one activist referred to these elemental forces in the case of girls taken from their homes in Nepal and into brothels in the big cities of neighboring India.  In these circumstances (of extreme poverty), there were parents who were willing to let their daughters go, because they found that if they let one daughter go, for three years they would sustain the rest of the family, and the daughters agreed because they wanted to be dutiful daughters.

Child Prostitution in Nepal/India


At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 6 September 2011]

Every year, thousands of Nepalese girls, some as young as 11 are sent to or procured for brothels in the big Indian cities, like Bombay or Calcutta.  They are often the daughters of poor farming families, where everyone must help with the family income.

One Woman's Work to Stop Child Prostitution in Nepal

Stephanie Salter, San Francisco Chronicle, November 7, 2001

[accessed 6 October 2012]

About 10,000 girls, most ages 9 to 16, are sold each year into the sex trade of neighboring India.  When they contract HIV or AIDS, they are kicked out of the Indian brothels and sent back to Nepal where they are ostracized from their families and society.  Even though the money they sent home may have helped their fathers build nice houses, when the girls come back, they aren't allowed to live in the houses.

Nepal - Child Prostitution

Australian Broadcasting Corporation ABC News, Final Story, Series 6, Episode 12 -- Broadcast: 17/9/1996, Reporter: Martha Kearney

[accessed 24 June 2011]

SYNOPSIS - The BBC's Martha Kearney traveled to Nepal to investigate the growing trade in child sex. There, it's believed that something like 100,000 young girls have been sold, often by their parents, to the appalling brothels of Bombay in India.

Child Prostitution in India

Sarika Misha, People's Union for Civil Liberties PUCL Bulletin, August 1987

[accessed 24 June 2011]

II. EXTENT - A survey conducted by Indian Health Organization of a red light area of Bombay shows:- 2 lakh minor girls between ages 9yrs-20yrs were brought every year from Nepal to India and 20,000 of them are in Bombay brothels.

Tulasa and the Horrors of Child Prostitution - Sold And Resold Body And Soul

Rajedar Menen reports from Kathmandu and Bombay, Indian Health Organization, 1993

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 August 2011]

Tulasa was abducted from Thankut village in Bagmati district near Kathmandu and then smuggled to Bombay via Birganj 11 years ago. She was sold thrice, to different brothel keepers in the city, for prices ranging from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 7,500. Brutalized and ravaged, it was only when her tiny body simultaneously playing host to three venereal diseases and three types of tuberculosis collapsed, that her ordeal came to an end. Doctors salvaged whatever remained of her and contacted her father who took her back to Nepal.

Children and Women Trafficking in Nepal

Idea Action Programmes-- Professor Yi Ki Ho, Korea -- Project co-ordinates: Srijana Acharya, Nepal, and Rajender Singh (Rocky), India

[accessed 24 June 2011]

It was 10 years ago.13-year-old Mira of Nepal was offered a job as a domestic worker in Mumbai, India. Instead she arrived at a brothel on Mumbai's Falkland Road, where tens of thousands of young women are displayed in row after row of zoo-like animal cages. Her father had been duped into giving her to a trafficker. When she refused to have sex, she was dragged into a torture chamber in a dark alley used for 'breaking-in' new girls. She was locked in a narrow, windowless room without food or water. On the fourth day, one of the goondas (thug) wrestled her to the floor and banged her head against the concrete. When she awoke, she was naked. Later she was raped by the goonda and red chilly powder was put into her vagina. Afterwards, she complied with their demands. The madam told Mira that she had been sold to the brothel for 75,000 rupees (about US$ 1,000), that she had to work until she paid off her debt. Now when she returned back to her house and told that she was carrying AIDS she was prejudiced from her family and society so she is staying in rehabilitation center in Kathmandu.

Millions Suffer in Sex Slavery

United Press International UPI, CHICAGO, April 24, 2001

[accessed 6 February 2015]

AMONG THE OTHER FINDINGS - As many as 7,000 Nepali girls as young as 9 are sold annually into India's red-light districts, 200,000 in the last decade.




ECPAT Global Monitoring Report on the status of action against commercial exploitation of children - NEPAL [PDF]

ECPAT International, 2006

[accessed 24 June 2011]

The work of various child focused organisations suggests that besides trafficking, there is strong evidence of other forms of commercial sexual exploitation of boys and girls in Nepal. According to research conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) with 440 commercial sex workers in Kathmandu, approximately 30 per cent of them were found to be children. Most of them were engaged in prostitution in restaurants which provide dancing girls and cabins for its customers for illicit activities. Similarly, child prostitution is reportedly found in massage parlours and night clubs in the Kathmandu valley and other urban areas.

A study on child sex tourism (CST) in Nepal (Kathmandu and Pokhara) in 2003, showed that there were many incidences of foreign tourists/paedophiles exploiting children (particularly street children and children from slum areas), who were lured by the promise of money and gifts from tourists. Abuse took place in hotel rooms, restaurants, secluded places and while trekking, etc. The study did not find any organised form of sex tourism existing in Nepal at that time. The exact number of abuses was difficult to measure as most of the contacts were made at individual level and therefore difficult to trace. There were also numerous cases reported in the local newspapers of foreign tourists keeping young boys and girls in their rented homes for long periods of time where they were exploited sexually in exchange for shelter, food, clothing and money.

A study conducted in 2003 by Child Workers In Nepal (CWIN) and Save the Children Norway on the sexual abuse of children, revealed that with the exception of a few reported cases of rape, the majority of cases of sexual exploitation among children go unreported due to fear of the abusers and also due to the stigma associated with the issue and reluctance to bring shame on the family. The study also showed that the number of cases of sexual exploitation of both boys and girls not only by strangers but by neighbours, teachers, family friends, etc. is high. It further showed that there is limited understanding of the non-contact forms of sexual exploitation such as exposure to obscene language, pornographic materials, exhibitionism, and so on, therefore these acts may not be viewed as sexual exploitation. It is important to note that more than 50 per cent of the boy respondents admitted to being sexually exploited.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Violence against children was rarely prosecuted, and abuse primarily manifested itself in trafficking of children. Forced prostitution and trafficking in young girls remained serious problems.

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - Local NGOs combating trafficking estimated that 25 thousand to 200 thousand women and girls were lured or abducted annually into India and subsequently forced into prostitution; however, these numbers were not consistent, and NGOs continued to seek better estimates.

Hundreds of women and girls returned voluntarily or were rescued and repatriated to the country annually after having worked as commercial sex workers in India. Most were destitute and, according to estimates by local NGOs Maiti Nepal and ABC Nepal, 50 percent were HIV-positive when they returned.

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