NOW on PBS reports from Nepal to shed light on a heart-wrenching practice: the sale of young girls into slavery. As NOW reports, many families in western Nepal are selling their daughters as bonded servants to make ends meet. As young as six, the girls are sold to work in private residences far from home, where schooling can become a luxury and prostitution a way of life.
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.