Hotels turning into contact centres for traffickers: NHRC

Kathmandu, September 12 :

Hotels and restaurants, including cabin and dance restaurants, have turned into ‘contact centres’ for traffickers, the national report (2005), prepared by the National Human Rights Commission, states.

The report on ‘Trafficking in Person, especially women and children, in Nepal’, released today by the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Women and Children of the National Human Rights Commission, says, “Hotels and restaurants, including cabin restaurants, have turned into ‘contact centres’ for traffickers. The traffickers do not need to go to villages searching for women and girls for trafficking them as the business is done freely at local hotels and restaurants, including cabin and dance restaurants in the Kathmandu valley, where 30,000 women work.”

“The traffickers have begun trafficking women and girls mostly from cabin/dance restaurants of the urban centres and district headquarters. Besides, they have been using border points without adequate patrol along the Nepal-India border for human trafficking. India, apart from being the country of destination, has become the country of transit, too. The girls and women are recruited there as domestic servants as well as sex workers in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai, Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong.”

“Due to the internal political conflict, many women are fleeing the country to work as domestic workers, mainly in the Gulf countries, despite limited funds and harassment by immigration authorities at Kathmandu Airport and Nepal-India border,” the report says.

“In the past, only the women and girls used to be trafficked. Nowadays, even boys and men are trafficked to work forcibly in factories, households and the agriculture sector. Some were even subjected to organ transplantation. The traffickers have been recruiting women and girls from several castes other than traditional trafficking-prone communities such as the Tamangs.

“Political will is necessary to address the problems of trafficking in person effectively. Coordination and networking mechanisms are also essential among organisations involved in anti-trafficking movement. A nationwide data system on human trafficking needs to be developed and women’s rights for better employment opportunities in foreign countries strengthened.”