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Nepal: reception centres used to break up the
Over the last ten years the entertainment and sex industry in Nepal have grown considerably: between 33 and 50% of the 30,815 sex industry workers are children (http://www.tdh.ch/en/documents/webcam-child-sex-tourism-sweetie). Technological advances – the widespread availability of social networks, mobile phones, internet access – contribute to this problem. ‘’Child exploitation is not inevitable’’, Terre des hommes (Tdh) works to prevent this phenomenon.
Sexual exploitation of children in Nepal can be traced back to a combination of factors such as weak child protection systems, gender discrimination as well as the large-scale poverty (http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/nepal). A lack of opportunities and the temptation of fast money mean that children are pushed to sell their bodies.
Reception centres: a passage to independence
Between 16 and 33% of women in Nepal who fall victim to sexual exploitation are under the age of twenty. Due to this disturbing situation, Terre des hommes decided to set up a network of reception centres with a view to helping the girls liberate themselves and break the chains which link them to exploitation (http://www.tdh.ch/en/documents/trafficking-and-exploitation). The young girls are given the opportunity to speak out so that they can regain confidence in themselves and in others. They are also invited to take part in discussion groups, theatre or artistic expression workshops. The aim is to help them get their independence back and thus enable them to slip back easily into society.
In addition, the sexual exploitation of young men – a problem which is acknowledged and visible – is still not given enough consideration. Tdh, with its local partners, has just opened a reception centre just for young men. Twenty young men have already been to the centre and some of them even referred their friends. Since these men are particularly vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases, it is important that the centre is able to discuss health issues with them. Not used to sharing their feelings with other people, the majority of them have admitted to feeling relieved at being able to discuss their feelings with the educators.
Call for the unconditional withdrawal of minors who are victims of sexual exploitation
Tdh advocates for the removal of children from the sex industry. Thanks to the work of the Foundation and its partner World Education International, between 2010 and 2012, 1296 young girls were able to break free from exploitation (http://www.worlded.org/WEIInternet/).
Every year, Terre des hommes offers sustainable solutions and a better future for over two million children and their relatives. Learn more about our projects (http://www.tdh.ch/en/documents/infopage-on-exploitation-2013).