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Geschreven door >h brown op Thu, 13 Jun 1996 07:20:36 met als onderwerp: Mass Rape of Nepalese Girls

The Rape of A Hundred Thousand Children.

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. In
mountainous fields where clearing yet another patch of forest to
grow crops increases the danger of landslides, subsistence
agriculture is no longer enough to sustain families because of
over-population and loan sharks who hold illiterate peasants in
debt bondage for life.

Arranged marriages are the norm and every man wants a son to
light his funeral pyre. Women are brought up to regard themselves
as second-rate. The problems of poverty and oppression are
neglected by the "superior" castes who rule the country and
pocket the maximum revenue for themselves and their own
concerns.

Meanwhile in the big cities of India, ageing men seek sex with
teenage prostitutes to make themselves feel youthful and because
of the notion that sexually transmitted diseases will leave their
bodies and enter the girls. Relatively fair-skinned girls with
slightly Mongolian features are considered the most beautiful.
Such girls are found in Nepal.

Seema's story.

>> Seema had left the poverty of her home village to work in
Kathmandu. She was barely twelve when a smooth- talking flesh
trader lured her to Bombay with talk of a better job. She
hoped to become a film star. Instead she was sold into a
brothel.

>> At first she resisted, screaming, crying and fighting off
prospective customers, but the madam who ran the brothel would
have none of it. She sent in a muscled toughie to hold the
girl down while an old man raped her. The pain was so intense
that Seema lost consciousness and had to be hospitalised for a
week.

>> After that it was back to the brothel where the other child
prostitutes told her she could not win this battle.

>> But Seema's spirit was not broken. Nine months later she
escaped for the brothel and boarded a train, hoping to
eventually get back home. A soft-spoken lady promised help.
She lured the young girl to Calcutta and sold her. Seema had
only escaped from one brothel into another.

>> Now Seema appears resigned to her fate. She hits the streets
of central Calcutta as soon as it gets dark and stands near a
lamp-post soliciting customers. Her parents in Nepal have no
idea where their daughter is. She does not have the courage
to tell them, and anyway, they probably think she is dead. It
is better that way.

From India Today, April 15th 1989. <<

Some children are trafficked by the owners of factories, some are
sold from their home villages by parents who want the money to
educate a son and some are lured by prospects of better work than
they can find in Nepal. Some men marry teenage girls in order to
take them to cities where they can sell them.

Not only are Nepalese girls favoured in India because clients
find them more attractive, but they are more vulnerable and
isolated because they do not speak the language and are far from
home. This makes it easier to subdue them.

Most girls have no inkling that they will end up in a brothel.
When they discover their fate, they fight as Seema did. Then they
are viciously gang-raped, beaten and tortured with cigarette
butts until they passively resign themselves to suffering endless
rapes. If they escape, taxi-drivers frequently act in league with
brothel keepers to return them to the brothel. There they may
have to be prepared to "work" from seven in the morning to five
in the afternoon, while from seven in the evening to five in the
morning they may have to endure as many as thirty clients a
night. Because they have technically "submitted", even their
supporters appear not to class this as rape.

A large slice of their earnings is withheld to repay the brothel
owner for their purchase price. Fabricated expenses, which are
added on to this, also have to be repaid. As the debt increases,
the girls grow older and less desirable and their earnings fall,
so freedom is still remote. When they become pregnant, the madam
in charge of the brothel may give them an abortion with a bamboo
whisk.

A new UNICEF report highlights the number of Third World women
dying in childbirth because of bad conditions. If these girls
survive, their children are reared in the cramped dingy squalor
where their mothers are confined, sleeping under the beds while
their mothers "entertain" clients. The women are forced to give
their children minimum attention so the needs of the child can
never conflict with that of the next man. Inevitably these
malnourished uneducated children become prostitutes if they are
girls and pimps and street ruffians if they are boys.

The police may raid the brothels and imprison the sex workers
along with pimps, madams and traffickers, but corruption permits
this sex industry to thrive, and police are among the men who use
the brothels.

Finally, if women succeed in escaping, or when they are too old
for the tastes of the clients or ridden with venereal disease,
including HIV and AIDS, they may return to Nepal. Back in Nepal
they are ostracised. A family that has bought a house through
selling a daughter may refuse her admittance because of
prejudice. Many villagers believe that if you inhabit the same
house as someone who has AIDS, you will become infected. On the
other hand they want to know what a person with the disease looks
like, so come to gape.

The Prime Minister of Nepal considers that the way to control the
spread of AIDS is to imprison the girls, as prostitution is
illegal. Not all police share the village prejudices - there is a
belief that once a woman has been abused she is available to any
man - so they habitually rape the girls.

By the age of thirty almost all these women are dead.

Moreover, if you show concern when you meet people in Kathmandu
with inside knowledge, your contacts may become noticeably
alarmed. Determined woman activists sometimes fear for their
lives although the flesh trade is illegal. Passing legislation
against a crime gives the authorities leverage to extract a bribe
whenever a culprit is caught. Even some well-known leaders of
the women's groups that claim to tackle the problem are
implicated in corruption and collusion surrounding cases of rape.


When the present Prime Minister of Nepal, Sher Bahadur Deuba, was
in the U.S.A., he was asked by Nepalis living in New York whether
the Nepalese government had sent fact- finding missions to the
various Indian cities where Nepalese women are enslaved as
prostitutes and whether the government had any programmes for
their rehabilitation if they returned home.

His answer: "There are more pressing matters and priorities in
the country!"

You may feel the magnitude of the problem is hopeless. However a
statement made by one of his predecessors, Girija Prasad Koirala,
while on a prestige jaunt to Europe to attend a UN conference on
Human Rights, gives another perspective:

"The Nepalese are enjoying human rights! Not one single violation
of human rights has happened in Nepal in the past two years...!"


Two years, of course, was the time he'd been in office.

Now why should he bother to attend the conference or fabricate
such claims if he had nothing to gain from misleading the West
about the true state of human rights in Nepal? The authorities in
Nepal fear loss of face. An awareness of Western concern might be
the first step in motivating any strong leader to introduce
massive penalties for the corruption that permits such practices
to happen, or alternatively to risk being viewed as a failure.

It is worth remembering that recent revelations about the
exploitation of children in the Nepalese carpet industry have had
such an impact that those who stood to profit from the
exploitation are now complaining heartily that they no longer
have a significant Western market for their carpets.

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Things to do: None of my co-workers or I had any campaigning
experience whatsoever before we started this, so our ideas are
open to suggestions, but here are some of our present ideas.

1. Please promote the Nepal Petition.

2. Please write or fax the following addresses.

Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister, Cabinet Secretariat, Singha
Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal. Fax : + 977 1 419 680

Khagda Prasad Oli, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Ministry
of Home Affairs, Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal. Fax : + 977 1
227 187

Mr Moti Lal Bohara, Inspector General of Police, Police
Headquarters, Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal. Fax: + 977 1 415 594

The Nepalese Ambassador in your country.

In Britain this is:

His Excellency Mr Suriya P. Shrestra, Ambassador of the Kingdom
of Nepal, The Royal Nepalese Embassy, 12a, Kensington Palace
Gardens, London, W8 4QP.

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Our current standard letter. Please feel free to word it along
your own lines:

Whereas I respect the culture of Nepal, I am very concerned that
vast numbers of Nepalese women and girls are allegedly
trafficked into slavery in brothels. It appears that police,
lawyers and government authorities overlook the absolute right
of all women and girls not to be abused, and that alleged
corruption enables this trade in human beings to continue.

I believe that a system without proper respect for human rights
is not entitled to Western income from tourism, and damages the
international reputation of Nepal. Unproven assurances from
organisations involved in financial gain will not reassure me.
Until I receive positive evidence from international human
rights organisations that this trade in women and girls has been
eradicated, I undertake not to visit Nepal.

Please inform the current Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism
and Home Minister of my pledge.


Yours sincerely,

Name___________________


Address_____________________________________________

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Also, if we can persuade them to actively protect the human
rights of all the visitors they seek to encourage, this is at
least a beginning, so here is another version:

Whereas I respect the culture of Nepal, I am very concerned that
known rapists and their accomplices are alleged to remain in
positions of trust in the Nepalese travel industry. It appears
that police, lawyers and government authorities overlook the
absolute right of all women not to be abused, and that alleged
corruption enables these travel agents to maintain their
position with bribes, with their guilt kept secret. So there is
no credible guarantee that our human rights are properly
safeguarded in Nepal, or that our money will not be mis-spent on
such bribes.

I believe that a system without proper respect for the rights of
Western visitors is not entitled to Western income from tourism,
and damages the international reputation of Nepal. Unproven
assurances from promoters of tourism for financial gain will not
reassure me. Until I receive positive evidence from
international human rights organisations that men implicated in
cases of sexual abuse have been eliminated from the travel
industry, I undertake not to visit Nepal. Please inform the
current Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and Home Minister of
my pledge.

Yours sincerely,


Name___________________

Address_____________________________________________

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The style of address is Dear Prime Minister, Dear Home Minister
or Dear Ambassador. The title of Ministers is prefixed by The
Right Honorable.


H. Brown. : carin@gn.apc.org

12 June, 1996

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%% --"No-one made a greater mistake than he who did %%
%% nothing because he himself could do so little. %%
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