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Human rights an empty concept without action

The Evangelical Alliance Relief Fund


December 9 2008

Human rights an empty concept without positive action

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TEAR Fund’s Lost children of the Himalayas project is ensuring Nepalese children don’t become traffick victims.


Sixty years on since Declaration of Human Rights was adopted (1948), Kiwis can celebrate a high level of human dignity and justice. But sadly this is lacking in many nations where people are treated as human commodities or are discriminated against for their beliefs or their ethnicity.

Working among the world’s poor, TEAR Fund knows that this year’s theme for Human Rights Day, (Wednesday December 10) ‘Dignity and justice for all of us,’ is an `empty concept’ without those in free countries not only speaking out against this injustice but taking positive action against human rights abuses, said TEAR Fund Executive Director Stephen Tollestrup.

“Child trafficking is one of the major abuses of human rights in the world today with an estimated 1.2 million children trafficked each year; it is a multi-billon dollar industry with its roots in desperate poverty and fuelled by greed and depravity. TEAR Fund is standing up for the dignity and justice of these children by working with organisations that are making a real difference to reduce these appalling statistics.”

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TEAR Fund works with two partners, International Justice Mission (IJM) and Share and Care Nepal who are working tirelessly to not only free trafficked children but to apprehend those responsible.

TEAR Fund’s partner IJM, is a group of lawyers, criminal investigators and counsellors who carry out investigations in conjunction with the authorities in Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines.

“IJM has had great success in releasing those held in bondage and putting the perpetrators of this evil behind bars.”

This Christmas TEAR Fund is raising money to launch a new initiative to alleviate the sort of poverty that sees 10,000 Nepalese children trafficked into brothels in India every year.

“Traffickers prey on families made vulnerable by poverty, offering their children good jobs and a better life in India; but the reality is a degrading life of prostitution or bonded servitude.”

By providing microenterprise initiatives, as well as farmer training and trade skills training, TEAR Fund through its partner Share and Care Nepal is creating employment locally.

The result is that family incomes are being boosted and nutritious food is being grown, so there is no need for parents to send their children away for work, said Mr Tollestrup. In addition, families are being educated about the deceptions used by child traffickers and through the programme, traffic victims returning home are cared for and reintegrated back into the community. TEAR Fund’s partner is also working closely with the authorities to apprehend traffickers.

To give to either of these projects contact TEAR Fund on 0800 800 777 or visit


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