Human Trafficking in Nepal – Relentless Fight for Rights Continues!
Be it in terms of development, policy-making, governance, among other ways, nations across the world have seen wide range of transformations over the years.
Even then, it’s tough to say we are on path of development, considering the illicit activities such as exploitation of #humanrights & freedom, #SocialInequality and #ChildLabor, among others.
One such demotivating aspect that makes us rethink of development is #HumanTrafficking, the menace that has been deciding the fate of many innocents, globally.
Standing next to drug trafficking and arms dealing, human trafficking remains to be a battle and a growing criminal activity for many nations despite strict policy-level decisions, and Nepal is no exception! In fact, more prone to girl and #womentrafficking in particular.
Relentless efforts by government, social activists and media over the years literally went in vain in tackling #HumanTraffickingInNepal.
“First you have to learn to take them as your own child. Then you will feel the sorrow and then the strength comes out from you to protect them” – Says Anuradha Koirala
Let’s take a closer look at human trafficking scenario in Nepal!
Nepal is one of the key source countries globally known for forced labor and sex trafficking involving men, women and children. Human trafficking in Nepal’s case can be observed in three different ways:
1) Within the Country: Human trafficking within Nepal typically involves #traffickingpeople from rural to urban locations. Especially, the young girls and women trafficked from rural areas are subjected to #sexualexploitation across enjoyment spots such as pubs, hotels, and other places falling under the ambit of tourism centers. While some of these women voluntarily take up the act, many of them were literally forced into the act and end up as slaves after a period, either #bondedlabor or as workers across low-profile jobs in factories etc.
2) Across the Indo-Nepal Border: Girl and women trafficking across the Indo-Nepal border is one most-heard aspect. Over the years, many girls have reportedly been trafficked to various India’s urban areas and used for sexual exploitation across brothel houses and child labor across unorganized and informal sectors. Surprisingly, records show the presence of more than 1 lakh trafficked #Nepaliwomen across India’s urban locations.
3) Beyond Borders: Besides the closest borders like India, #NepaliVictims have also reportedly been trafficked to various other destinations such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Russia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and some Middle East countries. India has reportedly been a transit for trafficking of Nepali women to regions such as Western Asia and Middle East, among others. Nepali victims to non-Indian destinations are most likely subjected to sexual exploitation, in particular to non-brothels.
Here are some shocking facts you should know about human trafficking in Nepal’s case:
Each year, around 1-2 lakh Nepali women or girls are trafficked to Indian brothels at an average selling price of INR 50,000-70,000.
Trafficked Nepali girls or women are majorly exploited for their beauty (fair and lighter skin tone) and virgins among them are often believed to have ability to cure #AIDS
#Poverty, #illiteracy and less earning power are among key reasons subjecting Nepali women to trafficking
#Slavery remains to be the oldest forms of #ForcedLabor in case of Nepal, with bonded labor dominating the scenario across agriculture brick kilns, among other industries
Child labor is another aspect of human trafficking that Nepal is known for. The country is home to 1.6 million children (between 5-17 years) subjected to different forms of child labor, some of them often working in exchange of money.
Three-fourth of children engaged in child labor in Nepal are below 14 years with majority of them being girls
According to #NepalHumanDevelopmentReport 2004, nearly 20 percent of Nepalis trafficked to Asian countries fall are below 16 years of age
Trafficking victims of Nepal basically hail from traditionally disadvantaged and #marginalizedgroups
Promises of better jobs across foreign destinations remains to be one of the key reasons driving human trafficking from Nepal
According to Nepal’s Ministry for Women & Social Welfare, 26 of Nepal’s 75 districts are prone to trafficking menace
Peak trafficking is usually observed between June and late August or early September, reports an #IndianArmedForces survey
According to #UNICEF, an estimated 11,000-13,000 girls and women are working in the “night entertainment industry” in Kathmandu Valley alone
According to #UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012, human trafficking from Nepal during 2007-2009 involved 36 percent were children (33 percent girls and 3 percent boys) and 64% adults (women 53 percent and men 11 percent)
Sashastra Seema Bal, one of the Indian Armed Police Forces, in its report on ‘Human Trafficking on Indo-Nepal border’ reported a surprising 500 percent rise in number of humans trafficked from Nepal to India over the last five years period since 2013, with majority of them from rural and Terai regions of Nepal
List not exhaustive! There are many such facts about human trafficking in Nepal that can touch your emotions.
Nepal Government has taken several initiatives over the years to tackle the menace.
According to UNICEF, Nepal already agrees to various international legal frameworks to protect its women and children from the human trafficking menace, which include:
#UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
#ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
ILO Forced Labor Convention to Combat Trafficking and Forced labor
CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
#SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution
“Accept What’S Done To Their Children, If You Don’t Mind It Being Done To Yours – Children Trafficking”
The country also has in place a domestic legal framework including:
Human Trafficking & Transportation Control Act (HTTCA)
Human Trafficking & Transportation (Control) Regulation
“Human Trafficking Is Modern Day Slavery”
Besides, Nepal also has many agencies working for it such as:
Secretariat to combat trafficking under the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Women and Children Offices operating across 75 districts
District Committees on anti-trafficking across all 75 districts & local committees
Nepal Police, Court, Attorney General’s Office and Embassy offices across other countries
Nepal Government has ramped up its anti-trafficking efforts post the 2015 earthquake; stopped inter-country adoption and also established various measures such as conducting awareness programs across communities, enhancement of local communities and funding various rehabilitation centers
UNICEF has also extended its support to governmental efforts by strengthening various police stations and checkpoints around the country covering the border areas.
The Department of Immigration has also been training the country’s immigration officials on ways to tackle trafficking of labor from the country
Government has launched various national and local level campaigns using mass media
Local Governments are also given various directives to tackle trafficking; for example, children cannot be moved across districts without legal documents or guardian
Government has also been conducting frequent meetings with the related stakeholders including NGOs, agencies, among others
There are many other measures that the government has been adopting to fight the human trafficking menace.
Hope, such continuous efforts involving stringent government regulations, effective public participation and relentless measures by NGOs & related stakeholders will help Nepal fight the human trafficking menace completely.
What Experts Say?
“Child slavery is a crime against humanity. Humanity itself is at stake here.” – Kailash Satyarthi, Indian Activist
“Life is a gift of our Creator…And it should NEVER be for SALE.”
It is slavery in the modern age. Every year thousands of people, mainly women and children, are exploited by criminals who use them for forced labor or the sex trade. No country is immune. Almost all play a part, either as a source of trafficked people, transit point or destination. – United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
“Slavery was abolished 150 years ago… and yet there are more people in slavery today than any other time in our history.”
“Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must unite our efforts to free victims and stop this crime that’s become ever more aggressive, that threatens not just individuals, but the foundational values of society.” – Pope Francis