Women of the World unite against human trafficking

15 May 2015   |   Blog   |   Supporter action

Tags:  fundraising, Nepal, Women for the World, women   |   No comments

Rupa Rai with Women for the World organisers

In May, more than 500 women joined together at Women for the World events in Sydney and Melbourne to fundraise for Caritas Australia, the international aid and development agency of the Catholic Church.

Those gathered heard first hand of the challenges facing Nepal, in the wake of the earthquake and regarding human trafficking.

The Caritas network has already provided over 38,000 people with tarps, shelter kits, food and hygiene kits in the Kathmandu valley, Gorkha and other hard-hit areas.

With the support of the international Caritas network, Caritas Australia and Caritas Nepal will in the coming months reach over 175,000 people with much needed shelter, water and hygiene kits.

Caritas Nepal’s Rupa Rai, who has worked as an anti-trafficking and safe migration consultant, was the guest speaker at the events.

Hear Rupa talk about human trafficking on the video below.

She said up to 7,000 girls are trafficked from Nepal each year. Globally, it’s one of the fastest growing crimes. Caritas Australia’s programs ensure that the most vulnerable women know the dangers of trafficking and unsafe migration, and understand how to protect themselves and their children from exploitation.

Caritas Australia’s projects create social and economic opportunities in the most marginalised communities, empowering vulnerable women, children and men to make safe and sustainable choices about their livlihoods.

"Every year girls are sold to different brothels of India and in the beginning it was limited to India, but now our women are sold in Kenya, China, countries in the Middle East and in Malaysia," Ms Rai said.

"The main motivation is sex trade, labour exploitation and also organ transplant."

Ms Rai said the literacy rates are low at 26 percent and many are easily lured into false marriages.

"We are the poorest country in South Asia and poverty is the main reason and besides poverty, people are not aware of being trafficked and not educated."

Over the past 25 years, Rupa has developed and implemented a range of programs on the prevention of human trafficking, unsafe migration and gender-based violence. She has also written widely on these topics.

Her work with Caritas Nepal has given her the opportunity to meet survivors of trafficking, migrant works, and women living in remote villages.

Rupa told those gathered these vulnerable and marginalised women have inspired her as she has seen transformation in their lives through their own hard work.

"We work with girls who have survived trafficking and they are grateful for the support from Caritas Australia."

More than $160,000 was raised at the events. The money raised will go towards Caritas programs in more than 33 countries.

Rupa talks with Australian high school students

Watch the video below to hear from Rupa Rai about the issues facing women vulnerable to human trafficking. This was a Google hangout held with high school students while she was in Australia for the Women for the world event.

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