Thousands of women working in entertainment sector face exploitation
Kathmandu, August 31
Police have arrested a guest house owner for allegedly raping and forcing one of his female employees into prostitution.
A special team deployed from Kalimati-based Metropolitan Police Circle took Krishna Ghising, 41, of Chitwan into custody yesterday. Ghising, the owner of Annapurna Guest House in Kalanki, had raped an 18-year-old girl, who worked at his guest house. He had also coerced her to have sex with clients of the guest house.
Acting on a tip-off that Ghising had subjected the teenager to sexual exploitation, police raided the guest house and held him for investigation and legal action. Officials said he would be produced before Kathmandu District Court tomorrow, seeking judicial remand.
A report on ‘Status of Women and Children Working in Entertainment and Hospitality Sector’ released recently by the National Human Rights Commission had stated that nearly 41 per cent of females working in entertainment and hospitality sector ended up in forced labour. Entertainment and hospitality sector includes dohorisanjh, rodhighar, dance bar, discotheque, massage parlour and cabin restaurants, where people go for relaxation, food and liquor. There are around 3,500 such facilities throughout the country and only half of them have been registered.
Nearly 60,000 people, mostly females, are working in this sector concentrated in urban areas such as Kathmandu valley, Pokhara, Narayanghat, Itahari and Dharan. The entrepreneurs concerned were imposing forced labour, either deliberately or inadvertently.
Twenty per cent females have been victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking in this sector. “When women and girls are forced or coerced into sexual exploitation, agencies responsible for crime investigation and prosecution pay no heed to the plight of victims. Instead, the victims of sexual exploitation are framed as culprits to grant impunity to the entrepreneurs,” said the report.
Though Nepal lacks specific law related to entertainment and hospitality sector, perpetrators can be booked under existing Civil and Criminal Code, Children’s Act and Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act. The report said there wasn’t adequate coordination and collaboration among labour office, district administration office, police and office of district attorney to put an end to sexual exploitation of workers by promoting decent labour in this sector.
A version of this article appears in print on September 01, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.