Call for concrete steps to combat human traffickingAs the country is set to mark the National Day Against Human Trafficking on Monday, stakeholders have urged the government to take concrete steps to control trafficking.
As the country is set to mark the National Day Against Human Trafficking on Monday, stakeholders have urged the government to take concrete steps to control trafficking.
The country has been observing the day as for the past nine years by organising various interaction programmes. But very little has been done when it comes to combating a heinous crime like human trafficking.
Year after year, government officials, leaders and civil society members deliver speeches and make promises to punish traffickers and control human trafficking trade.
The stakeholders fear that this year too the day will be limited to mere formality and rhetoric.
Neither government nor non-government agencies have authentic data on trafficked Nepalis, said Manju Gurung, of Pourakhi, an NGO for female migrant workers.
“We are still using the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) 2001 report. Forms, purpose and number of trafficking has changed in the last 15 years,” said she said.
According to the 2001 ILO rapid assessment report, 12,000 women and children from Nepal are trafficked annually.
Over the years, Nepal has changed as a country of origin for trafficking to country of transit and destination.
A report prepared by the National Human Rights Commission in April states that around 16,500 Nepali citizens, mostly unmarried women and children, were trafficked in the past two years.
It also states that trafficking has increased by 15 percent in the first three months after the April 2015 earthquake.
The report, which is based on primary and secondary data, has incorporated the figures of only three months after the quake.
Nepal Police has record a total 1,233 women and children missing in three months of the earthquake.
As per the report, the numbers of attempted trafficking victims in the fiscal year 2013/14 and 2014/15 stood at somewhere between 9,000 and 9,500.
Nepal Police, on the other hand, recorded 185 trafficking cases for FY 2013/14 and 181 for FY 2014/15.
Police figures can only be taken as baseline data, but it cannot reveal the exact number of trafficking cases as studies have proved that victims of trafficking usually file complaints at the Department of Foreign Employment under the Foreign Employment Act, as it provides good compensation to the victims of trafficking.
“People are being trafficked in the name of employment, education, marriage, etc. We need a comprehensive data which look into all these phenomenon, so that laws to punish the perpetrators of human trafficking can be formed on based on it,” said advocate Anjan Kumar Dahal.