The following are stories of girls we rescued in Nepal from an apartment building, where they had been held captive. The investigation into this case had been going on for a while. We share some background so you may understand the process of rescuing these girls.
Our partners use different undercover techniques for each country and situation. This specific partner pretends to be a customer. They go to places where there have been signs of exploitation, or places where they know cases have happened in the past. Sometimes they pretend to be a couple, sometimes it will only be one undercover agent pretending to be looking for ‘sex’.
They try to make direct contact with the women working, sometimes directly asking for the younger girls if they don’t see them at first. Underage girls can be hidden in other rooms to avoid detection.
Sometimes when there is exact information or we know for sure that girls are being exploited in a specific place, immediate action can, and needs to be, taken. Yet sometimes a more thorough investigation is necessary.
When more information is needed, one technique is to talk to the adult women who work there and invite them to our partner’s beauty salon where they receive a free treatment. Our partner uses the time these women are there to obtain valuable information about their workplace. This technique can lead to direct and indirect information about young girls and their location. For instance, they can ask about the availability of young girls because they have built up trust with the women, allowing them to provide sensitive information more freely.
Building this relationship of trust with the women or girls is the most difficult part of the investigation. Evidence must be gathered, but it is also dangerous. The women can be afraid of being betrayed, but at the same time, the women or girls can also expose the undercover agents.
Our partner reports their findings to the police from another district because local police can be corrupt and could also be customers of the brothels. Our partners conduct the rescue raids together with the anti-human trafficking agency. When rescued, our partner assumes custody of these children and the identification process of the children begins.
All girls in the following stories get all of Free a Girl USA’s support including health, trauma counseling, shelter and medication.
14-year-old Dhriti was born in Bagmati Province. This is one of the main hubs for human trafficking. She was born in an economically poor family. Her mother died when she was 3 years old and her father got married to another women. She was ‘the unwanted child’ in the family so she was left to be taken care of by her maternal uncle and couldn’t go to school.
One day, Dhriti’s father came to take her to live with him even though he was an alcoholic. Her stepmother forced Dhriti to perform household tasks and would beat her up every day. So, Dhriti ran away from home and ended up being trafficked into a flat when she was 13 years old. She was kept in this flat for approximately one year. She had to perform sexual acts on customers every day. The trafficker didn’t pay her anything and he threatened to kill her and used a lot of violence against her.
She is now in our safe house and receiving basic support like shelter, food and general support and clothing. She is very thankful to us for rescuing her and hoping to get justice.
The 17-year-old Dani’s mother died when she was just 3 years old and Dani had no parental love. Her father is an alcoholic and does not care about family. There was no one to take care of her so she left home and started living in Kathmandu. She fell in love with a man and went to Pokhara with him. She gave birth to a child at a very young age. Her husband would physically abuse her most of the time. Her husband forced her to go with a man, the trafficker, in Pokhara. This trafficker kept her in the flat and forced her into sexual exploitation. She was there for six months.
17 years old Rhandi’s family was poor, but they could provide her with two meals a day. Her mother died when she was infant which led to her father getting remarried and moving to India. One day, her father died in an accident. Rhandi’s stepmother came back to Nepal, but she had changed and Rhandi didn’t want to stay with her anymore.
Rhandi moved to Pokhara and got a job in a bar. One of the customers told her she could make a lot of money if she would come with him. This trafficker lured her without Rhandi knowing where she would end up. She ended up in the same flat, as Dhitri, Dani and two other girls. She was forced to perform sexual acts on many customers a day for a year.
17 year old Rama was very young when her father moved to Malaysia and her mother married another man. Neither of her parents were taking care of her so Rama lived with her friend. Her friend introduced her to a trafficker who told her she could make a lot of money. She went with them not knowing where she would end up. Rama was locked up in the same flat as Dhriti, Rami and Rhandi. She was sexually exploited in the flat.
Rama stated: “I will not believe in any of my friends onwards.”
17 year old Mina was born in Bagmati province; of which many districts are known as trafficking hubs. Her family was very poor. Her mother died when she was young, and her father married to her stepmother. He works as a mason and often wasn’t home. Because of this, her grandmother nurtured her. To support her grandmother, she ran from home and started to work in a hotel. The hotel owner exploited her making her work all day and night without having much sleep. One day a customer offered her help to getting a better job if she went with him. She went with him, and he trafficked her into the flat. Mina was raped multiple times a day. With tears in her eyes, she said: “I was raped daily, also when I was menstruating, so I have various problems and infections.”