A great deal is written, including by ChoraChori, about the trafficking of Nepalese children to India. But it is worth remembering that Nepal is also a destination country for child trafficking. In “The Long Rescue” feature from the June issue of Harper’s Magazine journalist Sonia Faleiro describes the where, why and how of it all, supported by great pictures from Brian Sokol. I have to take issue with Sonia’s description of Bhaktapur: “The kiln was located at a high altitude, and in January the mountains were covered in ice. Trapped in the midst of thick forests, the seven boys felt terrified and helpless.” This is far from the dusty town on the outskirts of the Kathmandu conurbation that I know. There’s no high altitude and ice in Bhaktapur. However the remainder of the article rings true from what we have seen – the traffickers’ deception and the indifference, indeed the opposition, of the police. And nothing surprises in a scenario where it’s difficult to distinguish the good guys from the bad. Note how she describes how one trafficker kidnaps children while his brother-in-law extracts information on the their whereabouts.
I remain full of admiration for the NGOs, and especially ChoraChori, in how they can continue to operate and succeed against such a nefarious backdrop and do so with such limited support.