Human trafficking continues unabated

Kathmandu, September 5

The 12th National Day against Human Trafficking was marked across the country today by organising different programmes.

While the government data on human trafficking, based on complaints registered with police, show extremely low number of trafficking victims, studies conducted by rights organisations show that thousands of people are trafficked, especially for forced labour and prostitution, to foreign countries every year.

The government’s official record shows that only 308 adult females and three adult males were trafficked in the fiscal 2016-17. As per the government record, 352 people were trafficked in the fiscal 2015-16, 280 in the fiscal 2014-15, 296 in the fiscal 2013-14, and 161 in the fiscal 2012-13.

A report on human trafficking in Nepal prepared by the International Labour Organisation in 2002 shows that some 12,000 to 200,000 Nepali girls and women are trafficked to neighbouring countries each year. According to rights activists, no official study has been conducted at the national level on the number of trafficking victims since 2002.

An annual report of Maiti Nepal shows that 273 women and girls forced to work as sex workers were rescued from restaurants, massage parlous and dance bars in the last fiscal. Likewise, 1,138 girls and women were returned from the border on suspicion of possible trafficking and 320 girls and women were rescued from neighbouring countries.

Director of KI Nepal, Indra Devkota, said that the various reports suggested that around 8,000 to 10,000 women and girls were trafficked to India every year. He claimed that more than 40 per cent of the trafficked girls were under the age of 18 years.

Similarly, a recent study by National Human Right Commission shows that an average of 23,000 people are trafficked to Gulf countries.

As per the Human Trafficking and Transportation (control) Act transporting people to foreign countries for forced labour is called human trafficking.

Under secretary Roshani Devi Karki at the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens said, “The only record of the trafficking victims we have is the FIR registered by victims who were rescued.”

Governor of Province 3 and founder of Maiti Nepal, Anuradha Koirala, speaking at the programme organised by the MoWCS today, said, “Human trafficking can be dealt with only through collective effort. We must adopt zero tolerance towards human trafficking.”