In yet another shocking episode of human trafficking from Nepal, authorities & activities in Manipur informed that about 301 Nepali men and women were trafficked through the India-Myanamar border!
The rescue operation for Nepali citizens trafficked to Southeast Asian and Gulf countries began on February 01, 2019, revealing more evidence that indicates they were trafficked into Myanmar, through Moreh between December-January.
“As many as 301 have crossed the border from December to January via Moreh border. Those crossing the border have not returned,” said Keisam Pradip Kumar, a member of Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights, at a press conference held at the Imphal Press Club.
“The details about their address that have been recorded at the Moreh Integrated Check Post border has shown that all of them are Nepali citizens,” the spokesperson added.
However, those involved in the rescue operation said that they don’t have any details about the whereabouts of those who already entered Myanmar or other countries.
Impulse NGO Network (NGO against human trafficking) Program Manager Emarine Kharbhih added that local authorities and activists couldn’t tell if they were still in Myanmar or elsewhere.
“We have to work with the Myanmar authority and other partners to track them. Now the next round of operation will take place in Myanmar to track those who have already crossed the border,” Kharbhih said during the conference.
The rescue mission that started on February 01, 2019, was done in collaboration with Manipur police, Social Welfare Development and related-NGOs. It began after informing Nepal’s main human trafficking watchdog Maiti Nepal.
The operation managed to rescue 183 Nepali citizens including 17 men from various parts of Manipur and are currently being housed at Manipur Social Welfare Department.
“The first round of verification has shown that all of them are from Nepal. They have admitted–and the documents they have also prove they are Nepali citizens,” said Kumar.
The rescue team informed that further verification will be done in Nepal before their repatriation.
“In other rounds of verification, our partners in Nepal will find out their families and check their citizenships back in Nepal. Then the Nepali Embassy in India will be contacted to further verify that they are Nepali citizens before repatriating them,” Kharbhih added.
She also adds that the rescue team has informed Nepal’s Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare in Nepal has been informed about the recent rescue operation.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes initiatives in such cases and asks the embassy in the respective country to act. We mobilize the team as per directives from the Foreign Ministry,” said Rajendra Kumar Paudel, Ministry Spokesperson.
Out of the 301 which crossed the border, one Nepali girl who entered Myanmar was rescued by the Yangon Anti Trafficking Task Force and Immigration center Pazundaung Township on February 06, 2019.
The rescue team could rescue her only after she contacted her family in Nepal and asked for help after crossing Moreh.
“Using the Impulse Model Case Info Centre Software alert, we informed our partner in Myanmar which then informed the local authority before she was rescued by the task force,” Hasina Kharbhih, founder and chairman of Impulse NGO Network.