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Nepali woman Kanchhi Maya Tamang once Trafficked, exploited and abused Conquers Everest to Warn Others of Slavery

Kanchhi Maya Tamang, 28, is thought to be the first survivor of human trafficking to scale the world's highest mountain

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FILE - Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, is seen in this aerial view March 25, 2008. VOA
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A Nepali woman who was trafficked, exploited and abused as a maid in Egypt has conquered Mount Everest in a bid to highlight the dangers of trafficking in her impoverished Himalayan homeland where thousands are sold into slavery every year.

Kanchhi Maya Tamang, 28, is thought to be the first survivor of human trafficking to scale the world’s highest mountain.

UN Women in Nepal — which supported Tamang’s expedition — said in a statement on Monday that she reached Everest’s peak on Saturday.

“My mission has first and foremost been to stop forced migration of women and girls from my district, which is listed as the top district for trafficking of women and girls in Nepal,” Tamang radioed from Mount Everest Base camp, according to the statement.

“I want to foster initiatives that create local employment opportunities and empower women, both those facing forced migration and returnees like myself. We must empower girls — give them a rope, show them a rock, then ask them to climb it.”

Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission says up to 9,500 people were rescued from traffickers in 2014/15, a rise of almost 12 percent from the previous year.

But activists say the figures are a gross underestimate of the problem, particularly after two massive quakes struck Nepal in 2015, leaving many people vulnerable to traffickers promising a better life overseas.

Criminal gangs in Nepal dupe impoverished women and girls into working as slaves in urban homes in neighboring India, as well as countries in the Middle East, while others are sold into brothels. Men are trafficked to work as manual laborers.

Tamang, who is from a village in Nepal’s central district of Sindhupalchowk, was trafficked to India and then onto Egypt, where she worked as a domestic helper for six years.

She was denied her monthly salary and faced verbal and mental abuse from her employer before managing to escape and return to Nepal.

Since then she has worked to prevent women and girls in her district from suffering the same fate and has become a prominent voice in her community, promoting girl’s education and advocating for more opportunities.

Tamang said she wanted to climb the 8,848-meter (29,029-foot) summit to show women and girls in Nepal that they can achieve anything if given the chance.

Accompanied by a team of 20 people and led by Pemba Dorje Sherpa, who holds a record for the fastest ascent, Tamang reached the peak at 6 a.m. local time on May 20, and held up a poster which read: “We are people not property. Stop human trafficking.”

“My win is a win for all women and girls,” said Tamang. “And my mission is to contribute to a discrimination-free Nepal where all girls and women have freedom and an enabling environment to realize their full human potential.” (VOA)

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Bride Sale in India: Buy A Wife Policy

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Human Trafficking
Bride Slavery in India: Abhishek Suresh

Bride Sale: Story of transformation of Indian Bride into Slave Bride

Samridhi Nain

Bride Sale in India seems to be trending in Haryana, a state with the lowest sex ratio, even marriage continues to be a way of exploitation as Indian brides for marriage are purchased at cattle rate and trafficked into the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab.
These ‘brides’ are imported from poverty-stricken states like Jharkhand, Bihar, Orrisa, West Bengal & Assam, where the traffickers either take advantage of the family’s poverty or abduct the young girls varying anywhere between the ages of 15 and 30, according to 2013 National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
The bride sale practice has been completely normal in the northern states due to the acute shortage of girls because of practices like sex selection and female foeticide. But if the reports are to be believed then even if not a single case of female foeticide takes place in Haryana, it would still take 50 years to get the numbers back to normal from India’s sex ratio today. However, the problem remains as locals & Khap leaders keep refusing to accept the facts at hand. Some believe it is the education of women that is the root problem because they want to marry a man who is also well-educated, whereas some believe that there has always been a shortage of girls but before where one woman would take care of five brothers, now, it requires five separate women to do the same.
As Haryana keeps preferring the male child and that male child grows up to prefer a bride, the best solution available at hand remains of these women who are bought at a price varying on their age, beauty & virginity and once bought, they are turned into a slave bride. Once married, these women can be resold as they are not viewed as a respected member but a commodity as they are not considered to be entitled to any inheritance by the family.
Human Trafficking to Bride Sale
Stencil of Missing Girls Project, Wikimedia Commons
A field study, covering 92 villages of Mahendragarh, Sirsa, Karnal, Sonipat & Mewat districts had been conducted on the impact of the sex ratio on marriage which covered over 10,000 households and found that 9,000 married women were bought from other states. The study was conducted by NGO Drishti Stree Adhyayan Prabodhan Kendra but the families kept denying of any exchange of money for the bride.
In 2016, the ministry of women and child development came up with India’s first comprehensive anti-trafficking laws under ‘Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection & Rehabilitation) Bill, 2016 but the bill faces many challenges and is believed to not achieve its objectives of preventing trafficking & providing protection & rehabilitation to trafficked victims. Activists also believe that the bill will be able to do very little to stop the bride sale.
With such haunting demographics at hand, the hope still remains that sooner or later, the government might realize the need for stringent implementation of the rules & regulations to stop the violation of these young women at the hands of sex traffickers and quell this ‘Buy A Bride’ policy.
-Samridhi is a student of Philosophy Hons. at the University of Delhi.