Maiti Nepal is a non-governmental organization that works to protect Nepali from sex traffickers and aids women who have been forced into sex work. Between 5,000 and 7,000 Nepali women are lured to India each year with promises of legitimate work, and are later forced to prostitute themselves at brothels.
Maiti Nepal offers job and skills training and also encourages young women to remain in school. Its members also keep watch around Nepal’s borders and poor areas, watching for and confronting suspected traffickers.
Goma Luitel, who works for one of the organization’s training camps in Makwanpur, explained that education is also another important goal. “Apart from learning income earning skills, we hope the girls will spread awareness in villages and help build more vigilant communities,” said Luitel, who has trained five different groups of girls.
Maiti Nepal also seeks to help women after they have returned from Indian brothels and will open a hospice for former brothel workers that have been infected with the HIV virus next month. Armina Lama of Maiti’s headquarters in Kathmandu said, “We will try to re-integrate them into their communities. If that doesn’t happen, we will try to provide an environment of love and care. They’ve been through such a lot already.”