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Banjara’s story

May 16, 2017

Our partners in central Nepal work to reduce the number of children at risk of commercial sexual exploitation in the adult entertainment industry. They’re helping to prevent children from entering the industry, remove children from situations of exploitation and ending their recruitment. Banjara a survivor who was supported to leave the commercial sex industry and trained to pursue an alternative livelihood.

SathSath, a Freedom Fund partner, provides comprehensive support for the withdrawal of boys engaged in commercial sexual exploitation. Through peer outreach and drop-in centres, they provide life skills training, male reproductive health and hygiene support, and vocational training.  SathSath also engages in advocacy to address the gaps in the laws related to commercial sexual exploitation of children, especially regarding the sexual abuse of boys, online exploitation, sex tourism and paedophilia.

At the age of 18, Banjara took on the responsibility of supporting his family due to the unexpected death of his father. As a result, he dropped out of school and moved to Kathmandu to look for work. However, unable to find a stable job, a few friends engaged in sex work convinced him to get involved in the industry to earn money.

At cruising sites, SathSath’s outreach team began interacting with Banjara and encouraged him to visit their drop-in-centre. Following health and legal orientation classes, as well as psychosocial counselling, Banjara shared his dream of operating a small clothing business.  With SathSath’s support, Banjara was able to start his street clothing business and successfully leave his work in the commercial sex industry.

“SathSath approached me at the right time to get me out of a vulnerable situation,” Banjara said. “Otherwise, I would be in the same place. Thank you for all the help.”

Find out more about the Freedom Fund’s Central Nepal hotspot.

Photo credit: Ginny Baumann/The Freedom Fund

Written by
The Freedom Fund