Shanoli and her husband Adesh were living every parent’s worst nightmare: it had been over a week since their 18-year-old daughter Binita disappeared from their valley village in Nepal. Despite filing a missing persons report, the family was no closer to finding out what had happened to her. We can only imagine the weight of worry and fear that gripped them both.
Shanoli knew Binita had been spending time with a young man recently, but all attempts to reach him after her disappearance had failed. After eight excruciating days, one of Shanoli’s other daughters burst into the room. She’d just gotten a call from a Destiny Rescue (an organisation whose rescue work in Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines Child Rescue helps fund) border station: Binita had been found.
The man she’d met last month was attempting to take her out of the country, but Destiny Rescue border agents stopped them before they could cross. The agents sensed something was off and decided to question the couple–it didn’t take long for them to find holes in their story, and the truth came out.
A border station in a quiet rural area.
A border station in a more hectic, urban area.
When agents called Binita’s family, they were relieved to hear that she’d been found and were anxious to be reunited. Binita was returned home safely. Though the trafficker was sent to the police, her family decided not to press charges to protect Binita from social stigma. Their family was whole again, but the trafficker walked free.
Had her trafficker attempted to lure her out of the country a couple of months earlier, Binita might have disappeared forever. Fortunately, agents rescued Binita at one of Destiny Rescue’s newest border station locations just a few weeks after it opened.
Rescue at the border
Along the Nepal border, fearless women endure harsh weather and scorching temperatures to search for victims of human trafficking. These trained operatives work at border stations across the country to stop pedestrians, motorists and public buses leaving the country to look for traffickers trying to smuggle their victims across the border.
When they spot something suspicious, such as a nervous girl travelling with an older man, they have the authority to question the subjects. They can even call the national armed border guard if a suspect becomes belligerent.
Since most traffickers instruct their victims to lie if stopped, Destiny Rescue agents have been trained on tactics that help them uncover the truth. Often, the lies quickly fall apart once they separate the suspect from the victim and interview each member more closely. Because of their diligence, Destiny Rescue border stations have rescued over 900 people in 2022 alone. That’s an average of at least two people saved each day!
The work they’ve done hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Nepali authorities, eager to protect their citizens from trafficking, often aid Destiny Rescue agents or even utilise their operatives in their investigations. Because of their track record of success in reuniting families, many communities recognise Destiny Rescue agents and now report suspicious activity directly to them!
Closing the gaps
Binita’s trafficker was stopped at one of Destiny Rescue’s six new border stations. That brings the total number of Destiny Rescue-run border stations in Nepal up to 24 across six districts!
These new locations are actually “satellite” stations that support nearby primary border stations. They play a vital role in filling in the gaps between already-existing border stations, eliminating even more routes traffickers can use to sneak away with their victims. With more stations covering side roads, the traffickers have fewer avenues of slipping by Destiny Rescue’s vigilant agents.
Despite being up and running for only a few months, the new stations have already rescued six victims from the horrors that await them across the border.
Destiny Rescue is endeavouring to stop all human trafficking across the Nepal border.
Names have been changed to protect identities.
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Child Rescue Charitable Trust and Child Rescue Charitable Aid Trust are registered New Zealand charities. Separate returns for each charity are filed each year with Charities Services which is a NZ Government organisation under the Department of Internal Affairs.
Annual reports to Charities Services can be viewed here
Please note: Annual Reports on this website will refer to ‘Destiny Rescue’ – Child Rescue’s name in New Zealand until August 2017.