The Guardian

Nosy, persistent, brave: the women who catch sex-traffickers red-handed

Local women patrol the Nepal-Indian border to apprehend people taking girls out of the country
A dusty junction in Birgunj, Nepal. Photograph: Gavin Kelleher

Just before dawn in the bustling city of Birgunj, an elegant middle-aged woman clocks on to start her border patrol shift.

Maya Gurung has policed these streets for the past nine years. But she is not a law enforcement officer. She is one of a team of people who scour the Nepali-Indian borderlands for signs of one of the most insidious – and growing – crimes in this part of the world: the trafficking for sex of young women.

Traffickers target young women from ’s remote communities, promising them employment opportunities abroad, only to sell them into

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