Nine-year-old Manjita Chaudhary had never spent a night away from her parents when her father sold her to a Nepalese policeman for $25. She left her family in western Nepal and travelled some 200 kilometres (124 miles) to her employer's home near the Indian border. Her harsh new life began at 4am, the start of a daily routine in which she would clean her employer's house, wash dishes, cook and then go to his relatives' homes to do the same, before falling asleep just shy of midnight.
"I couldn't cope with the work, so my employer's wife would beat me with pots and pans, and threaten to sell me to another man," Chaudhary, now 22, told AFP. "I was so scared, I couldn't even cry in front of them, I would just cry quietly in the bathroom," she said. When she met her father a year later, she begged to return home, but her father, a bonded labourer, said they couldn't afford to raise her or her younger sister, whom they had also sold into domestic slavery.