Paper Orphans, Foreign Correspondent

If you missed Paper Orphans on ABCs Foreign Correspondent, you can watch the full episode now.

In this episode Foreign Correspondent travels to Nepal to uncover an ugly truth: most of the children living in the more than 500 orphanages across the country are not orphans.

Many are the victims of traffickers, who prey on poor families in remote areas desperate to give their children an education in the city.

Westerners, including Australians, are driving this exploitative trade. Traffickers deliver the children to illegal orphanages where they’re used to attract foreign donors and volunteers.

FMN co-founder Dr Kate van Doore found out the hard way.

In 2006, she co-founded an orphanage in Kathmandu, taking in a group of girls from another institution. It was more than five years before she discovered that every one of them had living families.

Now Kate and Forget Me Not are working with the Nepali government to stop the flow of foreign funds, to close illegal orphanages, and return the children home to their families.

Reporter Sally Sara follows the journey of 10-year-old Devi and a group of trafficked children as they travel from Kathmandu to their villages in the Himalayas.

It’s a moving, confronting and, ultimately, hopeful story.