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Week of 12.19.08

Daughters for Sale

Winner of an Overseas Press Club awards citation in 2008.

An innovative program in Nepal is helping to free young girls that live as modern day slaves.

Unable to make ends meet, many families in western Nepal have been forced to sell their daughters, some as young as six, to work far from home as bonded servants in private homes. With living conditions entirely at the discretion of their employers, these girls seldom attend school and are sometimes forced into prostitution.

This week NOW travels to Nepal during the Maghe Sankranti holiday, when labor contractors come to the villages of the area to "buy" the children. There, we meet the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation, which is trying to break the cycle of poverty and pain with an Enterprising Idea. They're providing desperate families with an incentive to keep their daughters: a piglet or a goat that can ultimately be sold for a sum equivalent to that of their child's labor.

The organization says it has brought thousands of girls home to live with their families, but many cultural and political challenges still stand in their way. This is part of NOW's continuing series on innovative and sustainable solutions to world problems, what we call Enterprising Ideas.

Related Links

The Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation

Learn how you can help restore the future of Nepalese children

NYOF: Indentured Daughters Program

BBC: Nepal Country Profile

Note: This show was originally broadcast on April 4, 2008

Daughters for Sale

Tales of Courage

Slideshow: Freeing the Daughters of Nepal

Girls Saved

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