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Reposted from www.ashleypdickens.com.

We were on Skype, she working in Nepal and me in my air-conditioned New York living room.

My computer screen flickered, and in utter disbelief, I had to ask my friend to repeat herself.

She said it again, slowly—Ashley, there are entire villages in Nepal where there are no women under 30, because they’ve all been sold.

I closed my eyes as the sheer enormity of it washed over me. Generations and generations of little girls being sold by impoverished parents too desperate to see another way. Mamas and daddies handing their daughters over to the highest bidder in a despairing, last-ditch attempt to keep food on their tables. My stomach churned as I pictured children violently ripped away from everything they knew to be sold as playthings.

She continued. Forty-two percent of people in Nepal are unemployed. Selling children is an industry here. They end up at bus stops, dance bars, and massage parlors—the lucky ones will be enslaved as house help.

The lucky ones.

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