According to the U.S. State Department’s latest report on human trafficking, “An estimated twelve thousand Nepali women and children are trafficked every year into sexual exploitation in Indian brothels, and an unspecified number are victims of internal sex trafficking.”
American journalist Patricia McCormack has written a novel, entitled Sold, exposing the horrors of this brutal traffic. The book is based on years of research and numerous interviews with Nepali victims. It tells the story of Lakshmi, a fictional character sold into sexual slavery. “Fiction can be powerful,” said Ms. McCormack, “it hits at a very personal level.”
An estimated eight-hundred-thousand men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year. Most of the victims are women enslaved in the sex trade.
Nepali journalist Kamal Sarup says trafficking in women continues because too many countries have “weak laws” and lack a “political commitment” to bring traffickers to justice. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the U.S. is committed to helping end “a modern-day form of human slavery”:
“By calling to account any nation, friend or foe, that can and should do more to confront human trafficking, we are pressing countries into action. With each year, more and more governments are increasing public awareness of the crime, targeting and prosecuting the perpetrators, and helping victims to rebuild their lives.”
A few years ago, only a handful of countries banned human trafficking, but in the last two years some eighty countries have passed anti-trafficking laws. “Protecting the non-negotiable demands of human dignity is the equal calling of every country,” says Ms. Rice, “and everyone must be held to the same high standards of moral conduct, including the United States.”
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.