Pacific Anuradha Koirala: Putting A Stop To Trade In Women


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
by Belle Taylor

Anuradha Koirala cuts a diminutive figure on the grounds of Perth's Sikh Temple but the petite woman in the sari has had a big impact on the lives of thousands of the world's most vulnerable women.

As the founder and chairwoman of Maiti Nepal, an organisation dedicated to stopping human trafficking and the illegal sex trade, Ms Koirala has prevented an estimated 12,000 people from being sold into slavery.

"The three largest crimes in the world are drugs, arms and women trafficking. Globally it's a big crime and in Nepal it's the biggest social crime," Ms Koirala said.

The trafficking of Nepalese girls, mainly to India to work in brothels, has been a problem for years, but it was not until 1991 when democracy came to Nepal that it began to be discussed openly.

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"After 1991 there were lots of NGOs (non-government organisations) and UN agencies talking about it, but (only) in the city, in the capital," Ms Koirala said. "And I was nothing, I was just a teacher, and I said 'why do they talk here? The problem is in the village, we should go in the village and talk, tell the people there what is happening'.

"That is what I did, that is what I have been doing since 1993."

Maiti Nepal has expanded from its original mission to raise awareness of trafficking and now runs a variety of programs including three prevention homes in Nepal which take in girls at risk of being sold to brothels across the border.

Ms Koirala is visiting Perth to talk about her work and to raise funds.

She is speaking tonight at Christ Church Grammar School's Centre of Ethics, in the chapel. The talk starts at 7.30. Tickets are $10


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