The history of Planète Enfants is closely tied to India and Nepal. It was born following a trip to Kathmandu by its founder, where Planète Enfants has been working for the last 20 years. In Nepal where there exists glories of nature, marvels of culture, and an endearing population, there is exists also one of the poorest countries in the world, and one of those countries most affected by violence in general and against children in particular.
Aiming at solidarity support for extremely disadvantaged populations (children of the streets, isolated villages, victims of war...) Planète Enfants has led assistance projects in different countries for the first few years, although its essential efforts were dedicated to Nepal.
Over the years the association has specialized in the struggle against the trafficking of children. It has acquired an expertise in the domain in Nepal and developed practical tools for the protection, prevention, and reintegration of victims. This evolution has developed parallel with the financial support of public and private donors, and especially the European Union, which has complemented the resources acquired from the private sector.
- Population: 26.6 million (estimated 2006)
- Capital: Katmandou
- Life expectancy: 62.2 years (estimated 2006)
- Literacy rate: 51.4% (estimated 2006)
- Religions: Hindu (81%), Buddhist (10%), Muslim (4%), other (4%)
- Index of human development: 138/177 (2005)
- 15,000 girls trafficked per year towards India for the purpose of sexual exploitation, 40% are younger than 16
- 2.6 million children between the ages of 5 and 16 work
- 95% of women have suffered from acts of violence (study realized in 2001)
The situation in Nepal today continues to be a cause for concern
While the civil war that paralyzed the country for the last 10 years concluded in 2006 with a peace treaty and the declaration of the Republic, the equilibrium is fragile and tensions remain strong. The administration in power is largely corrupt, and the frequent change of prime ministers prevents the progress of governmental activities or the launching of national action plans and structural reforms.
The absence of social and development policy directly impacts the daily life of the Nepalese whose level of poverty continues to deepen: the causes include climactic changes, dramatic shortages of food supply which touch more than 3 million Nepalese, the shortage of energy which deprives the country of electric power on a daily basis, the public debt which seems impossible to reduce, and an inflation rate in the double digits...
Finally, Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world – 49% of Nepalese live under the poverty level. The exodus towards the cities is accelerating (even though 75% of the population is still rural) and urban unemployment is massive. The patriarchal system and gender discrimination are everywhere present due to numerous cultural and religious factors and the caste system on which the society is structured.