April 21, 2012
On April 30, 2012, the American Himalayan Foundation is hosting a benefit for its STOP Girl Trafficking initiative in Nepal, which was launched in 1997. To date, the program has helped prevent nearly 10,000 girls in the Himalayan region from falling into the common trap of becoming sex-trafficking victims.
Unlike other organizations that provide upfront assistance and then move on, STOP Girl Trafficking (SGT) and the American Himalayan Foundation are committed to rescuing at-risk girls in Nepal from the threat of trafficking by keeping them in school and, even more unique, supporting each girl through graduation and beyond.
According to a report issued in 2009 by the U.S. Department of State, more than 22,000 Nepali women and girls – the majority ranging in age from 12 to 18 – are trafficked annually. Forced prostitution and constant physical abuse – not to mention a high probability of contracting HIV – awaits them.
SGT began with 54 girls in 1997, when it traveled to remote villages to encourage girls to remain in school and to educate girls and their mothers on the dangers of sex trafficking. Since then, SGT has established programs at 400 government schools in districts plagued by some of Nepal’s highest rates of trafficking. Presently over 9000 girls are safely attending school thanks to the efforts of Dr. Aruna Uprety, the Nepali physician and activist who initiated the program, in partnership with the American Himalayan Foundation. The graduation rate for SGT scholars is 82%. Fewer than 2% have dropped out of the program.
Clearly, this is an initiative that is time-proven and well worth Westerners’ support.
The upcoming event, to be held in San Francisco at The Four Seasons, will include the attendance of several notable activists working in cooperation with the American Himalayan Foundation.
Siddharth Kara is an author and one of the world's foremost experts on modern day slavery and human trafficking. He is the first Fellow on Human Trafficking with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Visiting Scientist on Forced Labor at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is best known for his award-winning book, Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery (2009). His next book, Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia is scheduled for release in 2012.
Dr. Aruna Uprety, who created STOP Girl Trafficking, has a deep understanding of women’s issues in South Asia. In addition to her work with the American Himalayan Foundation, she founded Rural Health and Education Trust in 1995 and has lived and worked with Afghan women in Kabul in the aftermath of the US-led war against the Taliban. She has researched and published numerous articles on HIV/AIDS, STD, Sex Workers, Abortion, Maternal Health, Health Workers, Law, and Rural Women.
Her research includes: Baseline Study of Simulated STD Patients & Chemists in the Land Transportation Routes, Baseline Survey of Commercial Sex Workers & Clients, A Situation Analysis of Regional & Zonal Hospitals in Management of Family Planning and Post Abortion Related Complications. Her published works include: Your Health Is In Your Hands: A health guide for Women, Where Women Have No Doctor, Beijing Platform For Action, Women’s Health in Nepal: A situational analysis.
Dr. Uprety is also the author of a monthly column on various topics on women’s health and rights, including prolapsed uterus, anemia, gender, AIDS, family planning, trafficking, child health, and nutrition and has worked on Asmita, AIDS, an information booklet for the barely literate.
Jon Krakauer, is the American writer and mountaineer, primarily known for his writing about the outdoors and mountain climbing. He is the author of best-selling the non-fiction books Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven, and Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
For information and reservations to the April 30th event: