Quake survivor children ‘being sold’ in Britain

- The guardian, London
The Sun: Desperate Nepali children are being sold to wealthy British families to be used as unpaid domestic servants

Apr 5, 2016-British Home Secretary Theresa May has urged police to investigate claims that child survivors of the Nepal earthquake and other vulnerable children are being sold to British families to work as domestic slaves.

An investigation by the Sun newspaper suggests that boys and girls as young 

as 10 are being sold for just £5,300 by black market gangs operating in India’s state of Punjab.

The paper says the gangs are preying on the children of Nepali refugees, as well as destitute Indian families.

May called child trafficking a “truly abhorrent crime” and urged the National Crime Agency to investigate the newspaper’s findings. She said the paper should “share its disturbing findings” with the agency, “so that appropriate action can be taken against the vile criminals who profit from this trade”.

She added: “No child, anywhere in the world, should be taken away from their home and forced to work in slavery.

“That is why we introduced the landmark Modern Slavery Act last year, which included enhanced protections for potential child victims of slavery and sentences up to life imprisonment for those found guilty.”

According to the Sun’s report, which appears on the front of Monday’s print edition, the desperate children are being sold to wealthy British families to be used as unpaid domestic servants.

It reports that a trader it names as Makkhan Singh lined up children for its undercover reporter to pick from and said: “We have supplied lads who have gone on to the UK.

“Most of the ones who are taken to England are Nepalis.

“For the supply of a boy, minimum 500,000 [Indian] rupees [£5,300]. Then you will have other costs associated with taking him to the UK, but that’s your responsibility extra to what you pay us.

“Take a Nepali to England. They are good people. They are good at doing all the housework and they’re very good cooks. No one is going to come after you.”

A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on 25 April last year, killing almost 9,000 people and leaving millions in need of aid.


Government to probe matter

KATHMANDU: Nepal government is preparing to launch an investigation following reports of Nepali children being sold to the United Kingdom as household workers.

“This is shocking news and we will thoroughly investigate the news. The embassy in India will further probe the case,” said Radhika Aryal, joint secretary at the Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare.

The government of Nepal, in order to stop child trafficking, has banned child adoption. The ban enforced right after the earthquakes last year implies to both international and local child adoption.

The Home Ministry had made it mandatory for children travelling without their parents to have permission letter from the District Child Welfare Association, District Administration or the Village Development Committee. Security forces in the border areas had also been alerted on the matter.

Despite precautions taken by the government, children from quake-affected districts had managed to make escape out of the district with strangers.

Children as young as five years on the way to India with strangers had been rescued by the police. A large number of children missing from Dhading, Kavre and Okhaldhunga had been found on transit points with strangers who had promised them good education in monasteries in India.

Hundreds of children had gone missing from these districts. In June last year, police had arrested seven individuals on the charge of transporting 

children to the Capital without acquiring permission from the local 

authorities. (PR)

Published: 05-04-2016 07:58

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