Thursday, December 29, 2011

PEAR Website Announcement

Our website will be down December 26 to January 6 for a redesign. Due to this, our web comments, membership forms and donate buttons will be inoperable.


Please direct your correspondence to the following board members:

Comments and requests for assistance:
Gina Pollock
Vice President Advocacy and NGO/Government Relations
rmprhp@yahoo.com

Membership Issues:
Shanna Wright
Secretary and Membership Chair


Donations and financial issues:
Margaret Weeks
Treasurer
meweek@aol.com

All other correspondence:
Kimberly Kennedy
President
kackennedy_2000@yahoo.com

Thank you for your continued patience and support!


Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Govt opens applications for inter-country adoption (Republica)

***Please note: although Nepal has announced it is accepting applications for intercountry adoption, the US Suspension on processing I 600 petitions for abandoned children remains in place. See: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/08/145767.htm


Govt opens applications for inter-country adoption

REPUBLICA

ARJUN POUDEL

KATHMANDU, Nov 29: After receiving no application for inter-country adoption in 2011, the government has asked prospective foreign parents to apply for adopting Nepali orphans for the year 2012.

The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) has formally invited applications through concerned embassies, diplomatic missions and international adoption agencies for the first time after inter-country adotption was suspended in 2009.

The ministry had suspended inter-country adoption following disclosure of rampant irregularities in the process. Some European countries including USA had also suspended adoption of Nepali children indefinitely after revelation of irregularities. Before the suspension, the ministry used to receive more than 500 such applications each year.

“We have completed listing eligible children for adoption for 2012. Altogether 252 children are eligible for adoption,” the legal officer at the ministry, Sher Jung Karki, said. Children formally relinquished by the family will also be put on offer for adoption, he said.

Some of the children´s homes had stopped providing shelter to newcomer orphans since a year after foreign countries stopped taking in Nepali children. The children´s homes cited financial problems for stopping providing shelter to newcomer orphans. Foreign adoption is one of the main financial sources of the orphanages.

The government has also introduced strict measures after reports of irregularities in adoption were disclosed.

Karki said that the foreign parents seeking to adopt Nepali children cannot approach the children directly. “Prospective parents cannot visit Nepal to select children without the consent of the Nepal government. They have to apply through the Internet,” the legal officer at the ministry, Karki, stated. The ministry has asked foreign parents to submit application within three days from November 17.

He also said the adopting parents need to submit documents concerning permission from their respective governments for adoption and should apply through registered adoption agencies.

The government had also fixed fee for adoption. Adopting parents have to pay US$ 8,000 and the orphanage will get only US$ 5,000 per child. The US$ 3,000 will go to the state and it will be spent for the welfare of children.

Previously adopting parents would approach the concerned orphanage directly and select a child. They would pay huge amount to the orphanages to take away the children of their choice. Karki said that adopting parents from now on will be able to choose only gender and age of the children.

The ministry says 29 orphanages have renewed their licenses for inter-country adoption. Seven new orphanages have acquired licenses for adoption. Parents from around 72 countries adopt Nepali children.

Published on 2011-11-29

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reforms made by the Government of Nepal on Inter-country adoption system (MOWCSW)







Reforms made by the Government of Nepal on Inter country adoption system


Status of Children handed over in 2009 & 10

Number of children in 2009

Country

Female

Male

Total

Belgium

6

2

8

Canada

2

0

2

Denmark

8

9

17

France

12

12

24

Germany

2

0

2

Italy

40

32

72

Norway

7

3

10

Spain

32

14

46

Sweden

6

2

8

Switzerland

4

1

5

United Kingdom

4

1

5

USA

74

26

100

197

102

299

Number of children in 2010

Country

Female

Male

Total

Brazil

1

0

1

India

0

0

0

Japan

1

0

1

Mauritius

0

0

0

Italy

21

13

34

Spain

13

5

18

36

18

54




Data regarding the Child Protection and Family Support Program

1. Rehabilitation program for double orphans

Activities

Number

Rehabilitation support

Responsible Ministry

Double Orphan (Lost both their parents in conflict) support program until they reach 18 years

121 children

NRs. 5000 Per Month

Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction

Source: Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MOPR)

2. Family Preservation under the Women Empowerment Program

Activities

Working Areas

Support

Responsible Ministry

Family preservation under the Women Empowerment Program

3045 Village Development Committees and 35 Municipalities

Seed Money worth at NRs. 750 Million in total

Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare

Source: Department of Women and Children

3. Mobilization of Social Volunteers

Activities

Working Areas

Number of volunteers

Responsible Ministry

Mobilization of Social Volunteers for awareness raising for women and children

75 Districts at community level

857

Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare

Source: Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare




Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Submission of Application regarding the Inter Country Adoption (MOWCSW)






Submission of Application regarding the Inter Country Adoption (MOWCSW):


Government of Nepal

Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare

Inter Country Adoption Management Committee

Singh Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal

Subject: Submission of Application regarding the Inter Country Adoption

Date: 17 November 2011

In accordance with the Article 8 of Terms and Conditions and Process for Granting Approval for Adoption of Nepali Child by Alien, 2008, Inter Country Adoption Management Committee invites applications from the prospective adoptive parents through all the concerned embassies/diplomatic missions or international adoption agencies, for the year of 2012. In this regard, the Committee would like to request all to take the following notes:

Application for orphan and relinquished children should be submitted within 90 days being effective from 17 November, 2011 and no time restriction for the children with special needs.

Application includes-

Consent letter from concerned authority of the home country of adoptive parent/s,

Guarantee letter from the concerned authority (Government or Embassy) of the home country specifying that adopted children will be treated as biological children,

Birth certificate of applicant/s,

Documents proving the marital status of the applicant/s,

Family status including the birth certificate/s of biological/adoptive child (if any),

Health certificate of applicant/s issued by licensed medical practitioner,

Character certificate of applicant/s issued by government authority,

Documents proving properties and income sources of the applicant/s,

Photocopy of passport of applicant/s,

Social, psychological and home study report of applicant/s,

Covering letter of the embassy/ diplomatic mission/adoption agency,

Photographs depicting exteriors and interiors of living apartment/residence,

Commitment of the applicants to comply with post adopting requirements,

Prospective adoptive parent's sheet.

3. Application without valid and complete documents shall not be entertained

4. Application exceeding the quota shall not be entertained.

5. Application should be attached with the proof of bank transfer of an advance payment (non-refundable) of US $300 (three hundred) to the following bank accounts:

Name of the Bank: Everest Bank Limited, Singh durbar, Kathmandu

Name of Account: Inter Country Adoption Management Development Committee

Account Number: 00101102200050

Swift Code No: E V B L N P K A


Download Prosepective parents' Sheet



Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dal Bahadur Phadera & the suppressed UNICEF report








Dal Bahadur Phadera & the s
uppressed UNICEF report


UNICEF Nepal's suppressed Humla report is now available on the web.

The reason UNICEF Nepal suppressed (i.e., never published) their 2005 report is unclear.

Nor is it clear why trafficked Nepali children were left at the Michael Job Centre,
Tamil Nadu,
for over six years.


UNICEF FWLD Displacement of Children From Humla 2005:
Here is an extract (one case from the report):

Bikram Bhandari, Thehe VDC

"Bikram Bhandari informed the team that his son (Machche Bhandari now changed to Manish) was sent 6 years ago (Date: 1998) with Kali Bahadur Bhandari from Humla to Katmandu. Ram Bahadur and Gam Singh where 2 other children also sent with Machche Bandari -- they are also now missing however the team did not meet with their parents. Once in Katmandu. Chakra Bahadur Shahi (ex-parliamentarian member) arranged addmition of the children to Bal Mandir (a government organization)

From Katmandu, Machche was sent to a foreign country though Bal Mandir. This information was relayed to Bikram, 3 years ago (Date: 2001) by a member of Bal Mandir when Bikram came to Kathmandu looking for his son.

When Bikram came to know that his child was sent to another country he reqested to meet with his son but the staff of Bal Mandir said that Bikram had to pay 2 lack rupies [lakh rupees]
for this to be arranged.

Bikram explained to the team that the CDO and VDC had prepaired a recommendation letter stating that Machche Bhandari's (Bikrams son) parents where Dead. This was false information.

Bikram would like to meet with his son but is unable to -- he expressed anger about this situation.

Only Kali Bahadur had the information on Bikrams son, however Kali is now dead and Chakra dose not know the information so there is no way of finding out about the child."


For background, see:

On Children's Homes -- Lonely Planet:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2032255&start=0&limit=1000

Read the full thread -- a horrific, first-hand account of D.B. Phadera.


Here are two extracts (from a Western volunteer):

"The orphanage I Managed was registered, but not once did I ever see anyone check up on it. My orphanage being registered also did not make it a good place. My job was to run the home and do everything I could to protect the children from the owner and his goons. The owner was a known childtrafficker who was above the law. The NGO ISIS had conducted and investigation that traced over 530 girls that he had sold to brothels in India. They turned the investigation over to UNICEF who promptly leaked it giving him time to pay off the right people. He spent all of 2 nights in jail. I really prefer not to get into how horrible this man is to children, but he is just one of many respectable businessmen who have registered orphanages that are just ways for him to earn money through exploiting children. Like at many homes, the term "owner" only means that he had custody over the children, not that he paid for anything or did anything to care for the children. I actually had to stop a group of swiss tourists from handing over 2000 USD directly to one of his goons (who was himself a pedophile)."

and:

"DB Phadera...was the owner of my orphanage. He lived just across the path from me. Words cannot fully describe how horrible this man is. My job involved documenting the hell out of each of the kids in order to try to keep them safe from him- and it wasn't always enough. He is truly the most despicable person i have ever met. When an 8 year old girl disappeared from the home, he smiled at me as he told me she was only there on vacation. When he had disputes with the organizations that funded the home, he would cut off their ability to bring the children food. He literally would starve the children as a bargaining tool. When I first arrived at the home, he was allowing his goons free reign and many would come and demand to sleep in the beds with the kids at night. It took everything I had to put a stop to that practice. He forces children to beg, sells them into servitude, or worse, into brothels. For him it's all an equation of how he can make the most money. The lucky children are the ones he just abandons. Many good organizations in the valley have rescued kids from DB. All of the ones I listed in my previous post are among them. their efforts are noble and deserve support. But DB is a politically powerful man. As long as he remains free, he will continue to bring in more Humli children and subject them to cruelty, abuse, and in the best case scenario simple neglect.

Having to deal with him on a daily basis was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. My kids needed me there as my foreignness did give them some level of protection and the alternative would have been a manager of his choice, but I couldn't rock the boat too much- he had threatened to kill a previous volunteer and she had to leave the country.

Corruption in Nepal creates this culture of impunity which allows traffickers to operate."


See also:

Lt. Col. Philip Holmes explains why his charity rescued Nepali girls from the Michael Job Centre (video) -- PEAR Nepal:


"After the girls' return to Nepal the trafficker who had been involved, DB Phadera, orchestrated a vicious media campaign against the charity."


The Indian preacher and the fake orphan scandal -- Daily Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/8856050/The-Indian-preacher-and-the-fake-orphan-scandal.html

On the Western supporters of the Michael Job Centre (Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India).


Long journey home -- The Nepali Times:

http://www.nepalitimes.com.np/issue/2011/09/30/ThisIsIt/18594

On The Esther Benjamins Trust's rescue of 23 Nepali girls (Tamil Nadu -- September 2011).


A trafficker remains scot-free -- The Kathmandu Post:

http://pearadoptinfo-nepal.blogspot.com/2011/07/trafficker-remains-scot-free-kathmandu.html

On trafficker D.B. Phadera & the Michael Job Centre.


Paper Orphans documentary posted on the web -- PEAR Nepal:

http://pearadoptinfo-nepal.blogspot.com/2011/10/paper-orphans-documentary-posted-on-web.html

The Terre des Hommes/Image Ark documentary on adoption trafficking in Humla (the NCO/Bal Mandir kidnappings). Some Humli children ended up in India -- others in the inter-country adoption trade.


How our media helps sell children (by asking the wrong questions) -- Ushaft's Blog:

http://ushaft.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/how-nepali-media-helps-sell-children/

Andrew Undershaft on the media allies of trafficker Dal Bahadur Phadera.


Adhocism and the culture of press-release journalism (part one) -- Ushaft's Blog:


Andrew Undershaft on Anuradha Koirala's curious support of the traffickers.



Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/

Lost and found (The Kathmandu Post)






Lost and found

The Kathmandu Post

Jenee Rai

Nov. 11 The arrest of Goma Luitel—the infamous warden of the Mukti Nepal orphanage in Maharajgunj, one accused of sub-standard operations and child abuse—was a rare episode of victory for the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) and the families of the 20 children rescued. The story of dubious orphanages in Nepal, and their deliberate exploitation of parents’ innocence is an old one as of now, but what has emerged from this one case of rescue and arrest is a story of children resuming normal lives.

Eight-year-old Rajnish Lama (name changed) and 10-year-old Rajni Lama (name changed) were admitted to Mukti Nepal at the ages of five and three respectively. Their childhood before the orphanage had been carefree, even though there was little prospect of education. But admitted to the orphanage upon false promises of being sent to school, life for them soon turned harsh.

“We were not given sufficient food and if anyone dared to steal some more, the warden would punish us severely,” recalls Rajni. Severe punishments often involved heavy beatings with iron rods. The siblings were hoarded with 21 other children in a small room, one that was mostly unfit for living.

Rajni and Rajnish were fortunate enough to be rescued by human rights organisations and placed at the centre regulated by the CCWB. Now reunited with their father in Thamel, the siblings go to a local school in the area. “I am happy that my children are now safe with me. I used to drink a lot. But for my children, I gave up drinking six months ago and have not touched a drop of alcohol since,” says Manish, the father.

Another child, 14-year-old Malika from Dang, was also rescued along with the Lama siblings and is now under the care of cousins who live in Dhapasi. Malika, who remembers her warden Luitel pocketing donations from foreign volunteers, is now studying in grade seven at the Chakrapath-based Little Rose School. Serious about her studies, she attained fourth position in her first terminal exams and topped her class in the next.

Such stories of reunification where children begin to grow in the right direction show that there is no real substitute for family care in child rearing—a conviction among anti-trafficking organisations who advocate the deinstitutionalisation of orphanages and have been looking into alternative care settings, such as moving children in with extended family members or guardians.

With the CCWB’s findings thus far revealing only eight childcare homes operating within the minimum standard—which include the capacity to take care of at least 10 children, the hiring of at least four staff members for administration, cleanliness, cooking and care taking and the assurance of the home being free of child abuse—the rest of the orphanages, hundreds in number, are likely to be spaces of mistreatment.

CCWB’s Rajendra Manandhar stresses the need for awareness in the local community and requests them to file complaints against any illegal orphanages that may be operating in their areas to the District Child Welfare Board or the District Administration Office. Arrests of perpetrators like Luitel—whose case is running in the Kathmandu District Court—are needed to prevent the lives of children like Rajnish, Rajni and Malika from being irreparably scarred.

Posted on: 2011-11-12



For background, see:

The Mukti Nepal adoption scandal -- torture of a birth parent:






Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lt. Col. Philip Holmes explains why his charity rescued Nepali girls from the Michael Job Centre (video)







Lt. Col. Philip Holmes explains why his charity rescued Nepali girls from the Michael Job Centre

YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHHHwdHVGnI&feature=youtu.be

"In September 2011 UK children's charity The Esther Benjamins Trust instigated and supported the rescue of trafficked Nepali girls from the Michael Job Centre in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, south India. After the girls' return to Nepal the trafficker who had been involved, DB Phadera, orchestrated a vicious media campaign against the charity. Lt Col Philip Holmes, Founder and Operational Director of the Trust, explains the background to the rescue and why he and his colleagues were compelled to intervene in the gross abuse of child rights."


For background, see:

Duelling videos -- Humla trafficker Dal Bahadur Phadera

http://pearadoptinfo-nepal.blogspot.com/2011/11/duelling-videos-humla-trafficker-dal.html



Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Are They Orphans? (The American Prospect)







Are They Orphans?

The American Prospect

E.J. Graff

Beware of overseas orphanages seeking donations. If you're not careful, you may become the victim of an orphanage scam—in which a savvy entrepreneur in a poor country hustles up some children so that he or she can ask developed-world humanitarians for money for the children's support. In some of the notorious cases, the orphanage director pockets the money while the children are left to starve or sold for sex. Few people know that they may be underwriting kidnapping or other modes of defrauding local families out of their children. In other cases, the traffickers put the children—who are neither abandoned nor orphaned—up for international adoption, which can bring in astonishing fees.

One version of the orphanage scam has just been uncovered in India by the Esther Benjamins Memorial Foundation. Several years ago, a now-infamous child-trafficker traveled through Nepal's Humla province, asking families to pay him to take their children to boarding schools in Kathmandu. Instead, according to information I received from Joseph Aguettant of the child welfare NGO Terre des Hommes, many of the boys were sold into international adoption, while many girls were sold into the sex trade in India. (You can see Joseph Aguettant's documentary of the Nepal adoption issues, "Paper Orphans," on You Tube here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4).

Parents paid a child-trafficker more than £100 to take their daughters to good schools in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, but instead they were taken more than 1,200 miles to Tamil Nadu, southern India. Some of the girls were a bit luckier, as reported by the Nepali Times and the UK newspaper the Telegraph:

At the Michael Job Centre, a Christian orphanage and school in Coimbatore, they were converted to Christianity, given western names and told that its charismatic founder, Dr PP Job, was now their father.

On websites, the children were given serial numbers and profiles. The charity claimed they had been either abandoned by their parents who did not want the financial burden of raising girls, or orphaned after their "Christian" parents were murdered by Nepal's Maoist insurgents.

The profiles were used to attract financial sponsors from around the world.

Read more to break your heart.



For background, see:

Duelling videos -- Humla trafficker Dal Bahadur Phadera

http://pearadoptinfo-nepal.blogspot.com/2011/11/duelling-videos-humla-trafficker-dal.html



Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/

Monday, November 7, 2011

46 more children with parents identified in Sulur orphanage (The Times of India)








More on the Michael Job Centre/Humla scandal:

46 more children with parents identified in Sulur orphanage (The Times of India)

P Sreedharan, TNN

Nov 7, 2011

COIMBATORE: The ongoing probe into the alleged international child trafficking racket involving an orphanage here after 23 Nepalese children were found in their custody under the guise of orphans has become murkier. The Child Welfare Committee probing into the institution has identified and sent 46 more children to their rightful parents so far.

More such cases are expected to crop up in the coming days claimed officials involved in the process. Majority of these children were from Assam and Bihar. Even though they were not orphans, they were lodged at Michael Job Centre for Orphan Girls in Sulur.

"We are probing into the matter. More such children were identified and the Child Welfare Committee is expected to send a detailed report to me in the coming days. It is a sensitive issue and we have to handle it carefully," said M Karunagaran, District Collector, Coimbatore.

The chairman of the institution Dr PP Job, a famous evangelist based out of New Delhi was also asked to appear before the Child Welfare Committee but has not complied with the order so far. He had sent a deputy to represent him before the committee on October 11.The committee along with the Social Welfare Department are now engaged in trying to confirm the exact number of such children being lodged at the centre and trying to rehabilitate them with their natural parents.

"We had asked Dr Job to appear before the committee but he has not done so yet. We have been contacted by some parents after they heard about the incident involving Nepalese children and we have identified 46 more children who were not orphans at the centre," said Dr D Rajan, Chairman, Child Welfare Committee, Coimbatore.

The officials have also cancelled the license of the centre. As of now 485 children reside there and are given a formal education. Officials say they are proceeding cautiously, as the future of the children is at stake. Their main priority is children below eighteen years of age. The centre was initially given 15 days to furnish their documents and records. It is believed that majority of the children at the centre are from the North Eastern States, Bihar and also some parts of TN.

Meanwhile, officials at the Michael Job centre dismissed the entire issue and claimed that they have filed a legal appeal with the Tamil Nadu government challenging the district collector's order to withdraw the license of the centre.

"We have filed an appeal challenging the withdrawal of the license of the centre on October 3. I cannot divulge much about the matter at this point of time," said CV Francis, a Delhi based advocate representing the orphanage.


For background, see:

Duelling videos -- Humla trafficker Dal Bahadur Phadera





Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/

Friday, November 4, 2011

Duelling videos -- Humla trafficker Dal Bahadur Phadera








Duelling videos on Humla trafficker Dal Bahadur Phadera


First, from the Esther Benjamins Trust:

23 Nepali girls rescued from 'mission'

Our September rescue operation which freed 23 Nepali girls has been vindicated by the Child Welfare Council (CWC) in India.

The CWC has ordered the closure of the centre from which the children were freed.

The girls were in The Michael Job Centre in Tamil Nadu. The centre is well known to authorities in Nepal and India. It claimed to offer sanctuary to children of Christian martyrs; many of the children we rescued had in fact been taken there by known trafficking agent D B Phadera after their parents had paid what appears to amount to a placement fee.

We are planning the future care of these children, to work out who can safely be reunited with their family and who might need genuine residential refuge and support as they rebuild their lives.

A video by Lt. Col. Philip Holmes shows the challenges faced post-rescue:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvU66n11n_Q


In response, Dal Bahadur Phadera held a Kathmandu press conference. (D.B. Phadera is seated in the video -- wearing a dark waistcoat and sitting next to the woman in an orange coat):


For background, see:


The Indian preacher and the fake orphan scandal -- Daily Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/8856050/The-Indian-preacher-and-the-fake-orphan-scandal.html

On the Western supporters of the Michael Job Centre (Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India).


Long journey home -- The Nepali Times:

http://www.nepalitimes.com.np/issue/2011/09/30/ThisIsIt/18594

On The Esther Benjamins Trust's rescue of 23 Nepali girls (Tamil Nadu -- September 2011).


A trafficker remains scot-free -- The Kathmandu Post:

http://pearadoptinfo-nepal.blogspot.com/2011/07/trafficker-remains-scot-free-kathmandu.html

On trafficker D.B. Phadera & the Michael Job Centre.


Paper Orphans documentary posted on the web -- PEAR Nepal:

http://pearadoptinfo-nepal.blogspot.com/2011/10/paper-orphans-documentary-posted-on-web.html

The Terre des Hommes/Image Ark documentary on adoption trafficking in Humla (the NCO/Bal Mandir kidnappings). Some Humli children ended up in India -- others in the inter-country adoption trade.


How our media helps sell children (by asking the wrong questions) -- Ushaft's Blog:

http://ushaft.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/how-nepali-media-helps-sell-children/

Andrew Undershaft on the media allies of trafficker Dal Bahadur Phadera.


On Children's Homes -- Lonely Planet:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2032255&start=0&limit=1000

Read the full thread -- a horrific, first-hand account of D.B. Phadera.



Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare -- notices







Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare


Notice on domestic adoption

Date: October 23, 2011

In accordance with the details received from Land Reform and Management Department, this is to inform that 48 Nepalese children from the children's homes enlisted in the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and 11 children from other children homes have been adopted by the Nepalese prospective families in the year of 2009-2010.

Inter Country Adoption Management Committee under the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare is working for the promotion of alternative child care including domestic adoption. Therefore, the Committee would also like to request to concerned prospective Nepalese families to contact the telephone numbers 01-4200140 and 01-4200328 of the Committee for further information in this regard.


Notice on

The Number of children in the children homes listed in the Ministry

Date: October 23, 2011

This is to inform that the Ministry has renewed 29 orphanages/ Children homes for the year 2011-2012 for the purpose of Inter country adoption. As per the data provided by the children homes, 252 children (129 Female and 123 Male) out of 1172 are eligible for inter country adoption.


Notice for Foreign Organizations or Agencies regarding the extension of time for paying the amount of MOU

Date: 22 October, 2011

In relation to a notice on renewal of foreign organization or agencies dated 4 September, 2011, this is to inform that the Committee has extended the date to deposit the rest amount annually payable for MOU in 2010 for 3 weeks effective from 19 October, 2011.




Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/

Sunday, October 30, 2011

'Orphan' girls rescued from TN (Hindustan Times)







'Orphan' girls rescued from TN

Hindustan Times

Utpal Parashar & KV Lakshmana,

Kathmandu/Chennai

October 30, 2011


For parents in Humla, a remote district in mid-western Nepal, Dala Bahadur Phadera was something of an angel. Worried about their children’s future during the civil war, they found Phadera’s proposal to send them to Kathmandu for safety and a good education a blessing in difficult times.

Hundreds of parents paid him to take away their boys and girls lest the Maoists enlist them. But Phadera dumped most boys in rundown orphanages in Nepal and sent the girls to Tamil Nadu.

These girls were taken to the Michael Job Centre in Coimbatore, run by PP Job, an evangelist from Kerala.

In a September 7 operation, the Esther Benjamins Trust (EBT), a UK-registered children’s charity, rescued 23 Nepali girls from the centre. Forty-six Indian girls, mostly from North India and Orissa, have also been rescued since then.

These girls were allegedly given Christian names and presented as “Christian orphans” to attract financial sponsors from around the world.

“They were certainly not Christian and for the most part their parents were alive and well,” said Philip Holmes of EBT, who was involved in the rescue.

Following the raid, the TN government has cancelled the orphanage’s licence. However, Job, the head of the centre, is unavailable for comment.

D Rajan, chairman, child welfare committee, Coimbatore and Nilgiris district, said Job had already explained in writing that the “girls were accepted by him into the orphanage without verifying the antecedents”.

Job, who lives in New Delhi, has also reportedly admitted that they were not orphans.

Most of the girls have been reunited with their families, while some remain under the care of EBT and other organisations. “Phadera told our parents that we were being taken to Kathmandu, but he took us to Coimbatore instead. We had no idea where we were going,” said one of the Nepali girls rescued from the centre.

Surprisingly, Nepal has not initiated any action against those involved in sending the girls to Coimbatore. In addition, a section of the Nepalese media has blamed EBT for curtailing the girls’ education.

Parents of some rescued girls have also asked Nepal’s ministry of women, children and social welfare to investigate the rescue operation. The whereabouts of Phadera, who brought the girls to India, are unknown.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Nepal/Orphan-girls-rescued-from-TN/Article1-762956.aspx


For background on Humla, see:

Paper Orphans documentary posted on the web


http://pearadoptinfo-nepal.blogspot.com/2011/10/paper-orphans-documentary-posted-on-web.html

The Terre des Hommes documentary on adoption trafficking in Humla.


Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Indian preacher and the fake orphan scandal (Daily Telegraph)







The Indian preacher and the fake orphan scandal

Daily Telegraph

An Indian missionary charity falsely portrayed young Buddhist girls from Nepal as "orphans" of murdered Christians in a global fund-raising operation involving British and American churches.


[Photo -- Dr PP Job, a well-known evangelist, admitted that many of the girls were not orphans]

By Dean Nelson, New Delhi

28 Oct 2011

Parents paid a child-trafficker more than £100 to take their daughters to good schools in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, but instead they were taken more than 1,200 miles to Tamil Nadu, southern India.

At the Michael Job Centre, a Christian orphanage and school in Coimbatore, they were converted to Christianity, given western names and told that its charismatic founder, Dr PP Job, was now their father.

On websites, the children were given serial numbers and profiles. The charity claimed they had been either abandoned by their parents who did not want the financial burden of raising girls, or orphaned after their "Christian" parents were murdered by Nepal's Maoist insurgents.

The profiles were used to attract financial sponsors from around the world.

Many of the donors were in the United States, Holland and Britain, where Dr Jobs's sister organisation, Love in Action, is run from St Mary's C of E Church in Stoke-sub-Hamdon, Somerset.

An anti-trafficking charity run by Lt Col Philip Holmes, a retired British Army officer, assisted Indian officials in a raid on the Coimbatore centre last month, when 23 children were rescued.

His group, the Esther Benjamins Trust, discovered that none of the children were from Christian families, very few were, in fact, orphans and some of the girls had been kept apart from their families for up to 10 years. Among those rescued were six girls from one extended Buddhist family in Humla district in northern Nepal who were all renamed on their first day at the Michael Job Centre.

One 17 year-old, "Daniele", whose real name is Tara, told The Daily Telegraph yesterday she was seven when she was taken from her village with her five-year-old sister, "Anna Bella", whose real name is Upaal. On the charity's website, "Daniele" is presented as "an orphan girl from the area bordering India and Nepal", while her sister is described as an orphan whose parents were killed by Maoists.

"There was nobody to take care of her. Our Nepal missionary brought her to the Michael Job Centre," her profile reads. "Anna Bella" is listed as child number 146, and "Daniele" 148, part of a batch of six girls including their four cousins who were renamed Tryphosa (143), Tryphena (150), Jael, and Persis (144).

"Daniele" said: "My mother and father couldn't afford our education and food. There was no threat from the Maoists. We are all Buddhists but now we have two religions.

"Our parents thought girl children should get married, and that if we got an education we would get money. They thought we were going to Kathmandu. They did not know it was a Christian school."

Dr Job, the "orphanage" founder, has left India for the United States, where he did not respond to enquiries. But in a letter to the Indian child welfare authority in Coimbatore last month, he admitted many of the Nepalese children were not orphans and blamed Dal Bahadur Phadera, the alleged trafficker who brought the girls to India, for misleading him.

"Most of the children mentioned were brought by Himalayan Orphanage Development Centre, Humla, run by Mr Dal Bahadur Phadera ... atthe time of admission it was brought to attention that the children are uncared [for] and that they are living within India. The children were neglected by the society and [were] in [the] orphanage. Till today we are taking care of children properly," he wrote.

The charity Love in Action raised around £18,000 for the Michael Job Centre between 2007 and 2010, but Tom Reeves, churchwarden at St Mary's, declined to comment on whether he and his colleagues had been duped.

Mr Phadera was unavailable for comment. A 2006 Unicef report said his organisation was acting in "direct violation of the international convention of children's rights".

In an interview with Avenues TV, a Nepalese channel, he denounced Lt Col Holmes's charity and its role in the raid. "At the time we took our children, there was conflict and we didn't have any problems that the school took our children. But this is a rescue done in the name of rescue. It's like they are looking for treatment when there is no need," he said.

Lt Col Holmes said he had no regrets over the raid. The trafficking of girls from Nepal was "a total abuse of child rights", he said.



For background on Humla, see:

Paper Orphans documentary posted on the web

http://pearadoptinfo-nepal.blogspot.com/2011/10/paper-orphans-documentary-posted-on-web.html

The Terre des Hommes documentary on adoption trafficking in Humla.



Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Protecting children from abuser-volunteers (IRIN)







NEPAL: Protecting children from abuser-volunteers (IRIN)

[Photo: Natalie Bailey/IRIN]

A lack of protection policies is putting Nepal's children at risk

KATHMANDU, 26 October 2011 (IRIN) - Business is booming for volunteer placement organizations attracting adventurous do-gooders to public service throughout this poor, picturesque country. But aesthetics and needs aside, an almost complete lack of regulation has made Nepal particularly vulnerable to the pairing of philanthropy and travel, experts say.

“A lot of times we find that in Asian countries, child serving organizations lack child protection policies, and procedures hence do not have systems in place to protect themselves from potential abusers,” Junita Upadhyay, programme deputy director of ECPAT, an international organization campaigning for the protection of children, told IRIN from Bangkok.

“Many organizations don’t require volunteers to have police checks, even when they have child protection policies… There is not enough dialogue in realizing the importance of such a policy, and the government regulations, if any, are weak.”

Indeed, Anish Neupane with VolNepal, a Kathmandu-based organization which matches volunteers with local NGOs, said in accepting their ever-increasing international placement requests - this year it will reach about 200 - his company proceeds on the grounds of “trust and faith” that volunteers have the best of intentions when requesting to work with children.

Similarly, Volunteer Nepal, established by American Michael Hess to place visitors primarily in Nepali orphanages and schools, does not perform background checks. “We should, but we don’t,” Hess said.

Hess added informal systems are in place in which volunteers are monitored with a sensitivity to any “red flags” that might arise.

[Photo: Natalie Bailey/IRIN
A young boy reading in Nepal]

While the vast majority of volunteers have the best of intentions, some do not, and child protection experts say unregulated volunteering is happening at the risk of everyone involved. Until the government implements regulations, the burden of protection falls on the organizations and the volunteers.

“At the very least there should be vetting procedures in place,” Aarti Kapoor, child-safe tourism manager with World Vision in Bangkok, told IRIN. “It can be relatively easier to start up a children’s organization in developing countries where the regulations aren’t yet fully developed.”

Take the case of Jean Jacques Haye, for example, a French paedophile who set up an orphanage in Nepal and sexually abused its inhabitants between 1985 and 2001.

He was extradited in 2010 and later sentenced to 10 years in prison in France. Variations of such abuses are sprinkled throughout other countries like Cambodia and Thailand, but a lax or nonexistent legal framework make such successfully tried cases rare.

Regulation

Of Nepal’s 602 child care homes housing 15,095 children, four are run by the government and nearly 60 percent are operating without evaluation.

A coalition of international organizations is working with the government towards a policy which incorporates best practices for any organization caring for children, but the trend of volunteers going into the child care homes continues mostly unnoticed.

“We know that child care homes are not running properly,” said Raghu Adhikari, programme manager of the Child Welfare Board. He explained the board is awaiting the government's approval of a rights-based national child protection policy which will enhance Nepal’s Children's Act of 1992. But without even a national constitution, this could take years, experts say.

In the meantime, ECPAT conducts child protection policy training in Nepal, emphasizing that an organization must protect itself just as much as the children it serves.

“When the government is not very good at regulating these institutions, the responsibility lies within the organization,” Upadhyay said. “It is fundamental to running a good institution that is serving children.”

Off the record

Though a walk down Thamel, Kathmandu’s backpacker area, yields relentless questioning from eager guesthouse owners as to whether or not a passerby is a volunteer, all non-tourist activity in Nepal is unofficial.

Volunteers are lumped in with the more than half a million tourists entering the country every year, de-regulating the experience even further.

“When you don’t have a law then so many things can go wrong, but if we have a law then we can regulate - we could have codes of conduct for volunteers,” said Sumina Tuladhar, executive director of Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN), a Kathmandu-based child advocacy organization. “But when you say volunteering is not legal, then you are not entitled to seek references, or check the background of volunteers coming to your organization. Then it becomes so much easier to come and go.”

Asking questions

International organizations like World Vision, Save the Children and Plan International, all partner with local NGOs and require criminal record checks for potential employees and volunteers. They also cycle through fewer people than those whose primary focus is the placement of tourists in volunteer experiences. In the last year, Save the Children Nepal took on five volunteers, against Volunteer Nepal’s 150.

Experts say volunteers seeking placement should ask a few key questions, starting with: “Would this be allowed in my own country?”

The more questions a volunteer asks, the more an organization will start to think about protecting the children involved, Upadhyay said.

nb/ds/cb




For an excellent thread on orphanage volunteering & child trafficking in Nepal, see Lonely Planet:




Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
http://www.pear-now.org/