Cases of human trafficking on the rise: ReportsThere has been a steady rise of human trafficking and a large number of those who fall prey to trafficking are adolescents, according to Nepal Police data.
There has been a steady rise of human trafficking and a large number of those who fall prey to trafficking are adolescents, according to Nepal Police data.
In 81 percent of the 181 cases of human trafficking recorded by police in fiscal year 2014-15, people aged up to 18 years were the victims, according to a report published by the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW).
As many as 212 cases of human trafficking were reported to police in fiscal year 2015-16. Five years ago, the number of cases filed with police stood at 118.
Activists though attribute the rise in reported cases to greater public awareness as well as increased police training, they say the real number of cases could be much higher because many victims, especially those from poor, rural backgrounds, still do not reach out to the law enforcement agency.
“A large number of people still have not been able to muster the courage and say they have been victims of trafficking due to stigma associated with it. We need to reach out to them and provide them rehabilitation programmes,” said Chari Maya Tamang of Shakti Samuha.
Gender breakdown of the same data shows that mostly women fall prey to trafficking.
Of the 181 cases reported to police in 2014-15, only 36 were men.
Those working to combat human trafficking argue that the number of cases filed under the offence of human trafficking does not reveal the true number of people who were trafficked.
According to them, most of the cases related to trafficking are not filed under Human Trafficking and Transportation Control Act. The trend of trafficking in the name of employment has made the subject of trafficking complex and more and more cases related to trafficking are being registered under Foreign Employment Act (FEA) belying the number of cases related to trafficking.
“Most of the people are trafficked in the name of employment. Both the victims and their lawyers file cases under FEA without really looking at the nature of the crime. But the truth is the cases are actually related to human trafficking,” said Uma Tamang, legal adviser of Maiti Nepal.
According to Tamang, the old notion that only women are trafficked and that cases can be lodged under human trafficking only when the victims have been sexually exploited also make it difficult for the cases to reach the court under human trafficking.
Report launched by non-government organisations working in the field of human trafficking show much higher number of people trafficked.
Even the national report released by the National Human rights Commission this year stated that around 16,500 Nepali citizens, mostly unmarried women and children, were trafficked in the past two years.
- In 81 percent of the 181 cases of human trafficking recorded by police in 2014-15, people aged up to 18 years were victims
- As many as 212 cases of human trafficking were reported to police in 2015-16
- Five years ago, the number of cases filed with police stood at 118
- Of the 181 cases reported to police in 2014-15, only 36 were men