Comic Relief

An alarming number of children in Nepal are affected by sexual exploitation and abuse, particularly Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) - where some kind of transaction, usually financial, takes place. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) around 12,000 Nepali children are thought to be trafficked within Nepal and across borders for CSEC each year, with girls being the overwhelming majority. However with many more children going undetected, these numbers are merely estimates.
Children are trafficked from regions across Nepal. Many leave home with the promise of securing a job so that they can send money back to their families, while others are promised an education. Instead, many end up in extremely hazardous work, often within the adult entertainment sector where they are sexually abused and exploited. Studies suggest the number of children entering into the sex industry in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu is steadily increasing and that there is a rise in the number of boys being sexually exploited. The general levels of migration from Nepal to other countries also seems to be increasing since the devastating earthquake in 2015. Many children and young people often enter neighbouring countries without identity documents, leaving them at even higher risk of trafficking and exploitation.
The impact on children who are sexually abused and exploited is acute. They inevitably face negative consequences to their health and wellbeing alongside their emotional, psychological and social development.
This initiative aims to support work to prevent the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children and young people*, alongside supporting appropriate services that enable them to exit safely and effectively recover from the negative impacts. We would also like to focus on the systemic level changes that need to take place in order to reduce and eventually eliminate the sexual exploitation of children in Nepal.
*Children are defined as anyone under 18 years of age and for this initiative we are defining young people as anyone between the age of 18 and 25.
We welcome applications from organisations that have a strong track record of directly implementing work supporting children and young people at risk in Nepal, particularly from Nepali registered organisations.

Funding available

There is no minimum funding request and we will welcome requests up to £250,000. In total, we have up to £1 million available for this initiative.
We are interested in funding work which uses at least two of the following approaches so that we can support a range of organisations that are able to address the issue in a holistic way. Proposals that include other approaches not mentioned below are also welcome:
  • Supporting and building the capacity of local/national user-led or survivor-led organisations, associations or support groups for survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation in Nepal.
  • Strategies and mechanisms that prevent children at high risk from being trafficked and/or sexually exploited.
  • Ensuring children and young people who have or are being sexually exploited have access to age-appropriate and confidential sexual and reproductive health advice and services and psycho-social support.
  • Supporting safe exit strategies with sustainable community (re)integration for children and young people, particularly those engaged in the adult entertainment sector or other sectors where the sexual exploitation of children is taking place. Where alternative work or livelihood options are being supported, ensuring that this is linked to a risk assessment and sound market analysis and livelihoods technical assistance for sustainable and viable options.
  • Working in partnership to develop strong links and referral pathways to other services, including catch-up education, to ensure a holistic programme to support children and young people at risk of, or those being sexually exploited.
  • Ensuring the voice of children and young people who are being sexually exploited is heard and that they and others who have exited the sector, are consulted and/or able to safely participate in the programme design, implementation and monitoring.
  • Legal aid and assistance to survivors of trafficking or sexual exploitation.
  • Supporting long term systemic change that also address the push and pull factors leading to child trafficking and sexual exploitation e.g. shifts in policy implementation and legal practice.


Organisations applying to this initiative must meet Comic Relief’s general eligibility requirements. Please refer to Comic Relief’s funding policies, principles and FAQs for more details (links below). In addition:
  • The main project activities should take place in Nepal, however, we may also consider applications that address cross-border trafficking from Nepal into India.
  • Applicants must demonstrate successful experience of working on child rights and protection, particularly in relation to trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children and young people in Nepal.
  • Applicants may be Nepal registered organisations or UK registered organisations working in partnership with implementing Nepali organisations who are leading the delivery of the work. Where the applicant is a UK registered organisation or has a non-operational or no-implementing office in Nepal, a strong case must be made of the added value the organisation will bring to the partnership and demonstrate how the Nepali partner(s) have led the project design and development and how they will lead the project implementation.
  • There is no minimum funding request and we will welcome requests up to £250,000. Grant proposals should be for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 36 months.
  • For this initiative, we can only accept organisations appearing in one application for funding, whether the organisation is the lead applicant or a partner to the lead applicant.
  • There is no minimum/maximum annual turnover for applicant or partner organisations. However, organisations with a relatively small annual turnover should ensure that their funding request is commensurate with their annual turnover.



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