The Esther Benjamins Trust rescues, cares for and educates trafficked Nepali children – mainly children trafficked into India and forced to work in circuses. We also carry out anti-trafficking work in vulnerable communities – for example, improving the quality of schools, prosecuting traffickers and running community education sessions.
Our main commitment is, and always has been, to ensure that every child we rescue has a safe home to return to. Some rescued children were able to return to their families almost immediately, but by 2013, after more than a decade of rescues, we were accommodating 134 children in our refuge in Kathmandu. However, recent research has shown that living in a large institution is not in the best interests of the child: the outcomes for children who grow up in families are significantly better.
We therefore paused our rescue work, in order to focus on developing the skills of our staff to work intensively with the children and their families. They strengthened the families and helped many of the children to return home and re-establish their roots in their own villages. We continue to monitor them regularly once they are at home, and we provide help to their families so that they are able to support the returned children.