NEPAL PROBES REPORTS OF CHILD TRAFFICKING IN EARTHQUAKE ZONES
The government in Nepal said Tuesday it would investigate reports that children from earthquake-hit regions are being trafficked to Britain and sold as household slaves.
A report published by British tabloid The Sun said that Nepali children as young as 10 years old were being trafficked to northern India and sold to British households.
The government-affiliated Child Welfare Board said they would assist in the investigation.
Officials in quake-hit Dolakha District said that parents from the area often sent their children to India to study to become monks.
They had no registered cases of trafficking, the district office told dpa, although they said they could not rule out the possibility that children were being trafficked from their temporary homes in India.
More than 39,300 children were affected in the 14 worst-hit districts due to the earthquake and aftershocks in April and May 2015, according to the government. More than 1,000 were orphaned.
The orphans were sent to children’s homes in different parts of the country, which will also be investigated as part of the official probe.
The Sun reported that children were being sold for 5,300 pounds (7,600 dollars) by trafficking gangs operating in India.
The British government has urged the police to investigate the claims.
Nepal government banned both international and local child adoption in the aftermath of the earthquakes last year to prevent child trafficking.