Following a call for applications in July 2016, the jury, presided by Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, has chosen to give a voice to Nepalese women by selecting Lizzie Sadin’s project.
After three months of reporting in the field between February and May 2017, the photojournalist has brought back a deeply moving testimony on gender-based human trafficking, which is deeply rooted in Nepalese society.
In 2015, an earthquake of 7.8 on the Richter scale shook Nepal, killing 9,000 and causing 6,500 people to be displaced. Nepal’s political instability, the extreme precariousness of its population – one quarter of whom lives below the poverty line – and the failings of its education system mean that the country is struggling to recover from this disaster and must now confront an emerging new phenomenon: human trafficking.
This trafficking principally affects women. The influence of cultural traditions which maintain women’s status as inferior beings, or even as possessions, is still strong. 20,000 young girls are exploited in the sex industry of Kathmandu and more than 300,000 women emigrate in order to take up “employment” as domestic workers.
After three months of reporting for the Carmignac Photojournalism Award, from February to May 2017, Lizzie Sadin has released a poignant account of the women and young girls tricked by their agents, “friends” or even family members who exploit their hope of a better life, or who are simply handed over by their loved ones for money.
Thanks to this investigation, Lizzie Sadin’s unique images bring this gender-based human trafficking in the spotlight, and highlight how this trade is – now more than ever – part of the fabric of Nepalese society.
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