Govt wakes up to UK paper claims after three days

  • The Sun on Monday reported that child survivors of last year’s earthquake ‘being sold’ to rich Brit families
- Post Report, Kathmandu
The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) says it has called a meeting today to discuss the issue

Apr 7, 2016-Three days after a British newspaper claimed that child survivors of last year’s Nepal earthquake among other vulnerable children were being sold to British families to work as domestic slaves, the government here said on Wednesday that “it has called a meeting on Thursday to discuss the matter” in what seems to be too lackadaisical and sluggish response to a matter of utmost concern. 

Britain’s the Sun newspaper on Monday reported that its investigation found that “boys and girls as young as 10 are being sold for just £5,300 (Rs800,000) by black market gangs operating in India’s state of Punjab”. The paper said that the gangs were preying on the children who survived Nepal’s earthquake and those from destitute Indian families.

According to Radhika Aryal, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW), the ministry will hold a meeting with various line ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs, and development partners on Thursday to discuss the issue. 

Meanwhile, police said they have beefed up security at the border areas. 

Immediately after the Sun’s revelations, British Home Secretary Theresa May had urged police to investigate claims that child survivors of the Nepal earthquake and other vulnerable children were being sold to British families to work as domestic slaves, The Guardian reported on Monday. Calling child trafficking a “truly abhorrent crime”, May had, according to The Guardian, urged the British National Crime Agency to investigate the Sun newspaper’s findings and the newspaper to “share its disturbing findings” with the agency.

According to the Sun’s report, the desperate children “are being sold to wealthy British families to be used as unpaid domestic servants”. Identifying an Indian national named Makkhan Singh as the person who was “selling children”, the Sun quoted Singh as saying: “We have supplied lads who have gone on to the UK. Most of the ones who are taken to England are Nepalis”.

According to estimates, millions of people across the world are victims of modern day slavery, trafficked across borders and forced to work in servitude. 

 

 

Published: 07-04-2016 08:41

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