Witness to receive allowance and travel expenseThe government has amended the law under which witnesses of human trafficking will receive daily allowances and travel expenses.
The government has amended the law under which witnesses of human trafficking will receive daily allowances and travel expenses.
The amendment to the Human Trafficking and Control Act is aimed at encouraging witnesses to go to court and give their statements. There have been instances where witnesses, whose statements are crucial in human trafficking cases, have failed to appear before court because they did not have travelling expenses.
“People tend to avoid speaking for the victims and often times the financial condition of the victim does come in the way. We believe the new provision will help trafficking victims get justice,” said Radhika Aryal, joint secretary at the Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare.
Article 10 (26.a) states that a witness present in the court will receive travel and daily allowance equivalent to the allowance received by first class government officers. The witness will be paid by the government law firm overseeing the case.
If the witness happens to be a government employee, then the travel expenses and daily allowance will be borne by the witness’s respective office.
Stakeholders say the amendment will help victims of trafficking file more cases under the Human Trafficking and Control Act. Due to the long legal procedure and compensation amount, victims often follow Foreign Employment Act to sue the culprit for human trafficking.
“We now need better compensation for victims in order to make the Act victim friendly,” said Uma Magar, legal advisor of Maiti Nepal. She said that the victims of trafficking opt to file case under the Foreign Employment Act, which is not victim friendly.