While Nepali leadership is busy with its own circus, serious social issues are being ignored. Human Trafficking is a black smear on the country’s face and yet it continues, the government and law enforcement have failed to make any serious dent in curbing it. Social organizations and citizens are trying their best but the traffickers are much too powerful.
Now entire villages are being emptied of women and girls, and children are being trafficked to work in India circuses.
Al Jazeera has a great documentary on the trafficked children and working condition at the circuses.
“The children are often sold to traffickers by their parents who need the money and want them to have a better life in India, where opportunities are plentiful. Children as young as five get sold for as little as 1,000 rupees ($13), sent across the border and sometimes never seen again, the report states. Many end up working in circuses.
“Once in the circuses, these children often live in squalor and are never allowed to leave the circus compound. They are routinely beaten in order to teach them the difficult and dangerous tricks, and sexual abuse is commonplace. In effect, these children have been totally at the mercy of circus management who treat them as they please,” it reports. It states that this is common practice but does not happen in every circus.”
If you find yourself asking, how can a parent send their child away to work in circus? Let me share my personal experience. In my mom’s hometown of Biratnagar, their neighbor’s son was sent away to work in a circus in Mumbai,India. The boy’s sister later became my good friend and used to tell me stories about this brother she had never seen but heard so much. He was about 10 went he left and used send money to the parents every year. The family wasn’t very poor but the still the opportunity to make things better was too strong. From that same neighborhood more than 5-6 kids were sent away to work in a circus, some were very poor and probably saw the opportunity as their only way to survive.
Traffickers take advantage of poverty and ignorance to take these kids away. Weak law enforcement also betrays these children, as most of the traffickers are never caught or punished. And the cycle continues..