Nepal | August 12, 2020

Police reluctant to register FIR of trafficking victims

Ujjwal Satyal
Share Now:

Kathmandu, July 23

In a blatant example of how reluctant police are to register cases related to human trafficking, 51-year-old Sanu Kaji Lama of Sindhupalchowk was seen running from pillar to post to lodge a first information case against five persons from his village, who had allegedly tried to traffic her daughter to a foreign country, at Anti-human Trafficking Bureau of Nepal Police in Babarmahal.

Sixteen-year-old  Sajana (name changed) was rescued by Maiti Nepal from a check post at Nepal-India border in Kakarbhitta, and was later handed over to police on July 18. In the FIR prepared by Sanu Kaji, Sajana has clearly stated that a man called Gyalbo Lama, 31, had lured her with fake promises and brought her to Kakarbhitta with the intention of trafficking her. Despite all the information provided in writing, several prima facie, and recording her statements multiple times, police were reluctant to register FIR.

After their frequent visits and relentless efforts, police finally registered the FIR today evening. Activists say that inaction of police is one of the key reasons why many trafficking victims don’t approach police for justice.

As per the statistics of the bureau, only 190 cases were filed in first nine months of the fiscal 2018-19. Similarly, 305 cases were registered in the fiscal 2017-18, 227 cases in 2016-17, 212 cases in fiscal 2015-16 and 181 cases in 2014-15.

Similarly, a report of the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen shows that a total of 1,355 people were trafficked between the year 2012 to 2017. The data is significantly less compared to the data released by various national and international organisations.

In stark contrast, the 2015-16 report by National Human Right Commission showed that a total of 6,100 persons were trafficked from the country that year. It has also pointed out that around 13,000 women and children in Nepal were vulnerable to trafficking.

A report of the International Labour Organisation in 2002 shows that some 12,000 Nepali girls and women are trafficked to neighbouring countries each year. Similarly, the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report released by the US Department of State has classified Nepal as a Tier 2 country, which means that the Government of Nepal does not fully meet the minimum standards for elimination of trafficking.

Although there is no exact data on how many people are trafficked every year, activists say that government data is drastically lower than the real situation.

Bishwo Khadka, chairman of Maiti Nepal, said his organisation alone rescued 200 to 400 trafficking victims  from abroad each year. Similarly, it sent  home around 3,500 suspected trafficking victims from various check posts at borders. “We don’t know why police records indicate less number of trafficking victims despite our close coordination with police,” he said.

Police, on their part, say that many trafficking victims do not come to police after their rescue fearing social stigma.


A version of this article appears in print on July 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Hotels, restaurants to offer take away services only, 50pc staff to operate BFIs

KATHMANDU: With the steady surge in the number of coronavirus cases across the nation, the Cabinet meeting held on Monday has decided to re-impose restrictions on various service providing units. In the same, Hotels and Restaurants can no longer host guests and can only offer take away services w Read More...

Feast of football awaits but no party time in Lisbon

LISBON: It is arguably the biggest sports event of this COVID-infected year -- eight of Europe's top teams in a knockout tournament over 12 days in the Portuguese capital, with the Champions League winner to be crowned at the final on Aug. 23. But while millions will tune in around the globe, Read More...

Europa League, Shakhtar Donetsk

Four-goal Shakhtar set up Europa semi against Inter

GELSENKIRCHEN: Shakhtar Donetsk booked a clash with Inter Milan in the Europa League semi-finals after goals from Brazilians Junior Moraes, Taison, Alan Patrick and Dodo gave them a 4-1 win over FC Basel in a one-sided last-eight clash on Tuesday. The Ukrainian champions will take on In Read More...

Woman, daughter held in Gongabu murder case

Kathmandu, August 11 Nepal Police today made public the woman, who was arrested on the charge of murdering a man in Gongabu. The headless body of Krishna Bahadur Bohora, 45, of Rolpa was found inside a suitcase, around 100meters away from her rented room at Ganesthan, Gongabu on Sunday. Pol Read More...

COVID-19 likely to persist until India gets rid of it: Health Minister

Kathmandu, August 11 Minister of Health and Population Bhanubhakta Dhakal has said the risk of COVID-19 will remain in Nepal until the pandemic is totally contained in India. Addressing the 61st Anniversary Programme of Paropakar Maternity and Gynaecology Hospital here today, he argued that as Read More...

Bajura village cut off from rest of Nepal

BAJURA, AUGUST 11 Ajaytodki village in Ward 2 of Gaumul Rural Municipality in Bajura has been cut-off from the rest of the country for the past two days after the swollen Budhiganga River swept away a bailey bridge at Jadanga along the Sanfe-Martadi road. The sweeping away of the bridge has disco Read More...

Informal, salaried workers hit hard by COVID-19 in Kathmandu valley: Study

Kathmandu, August 11 Nearly 29 per cent of the respondents interviewed by Kathmandu Metropolitan City in a survey on ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Livelihood’ said their families were stressed due to the uncertain future facing them in the metropolis. Families living in rented rooms or houses sai Read More...

Bharatpur Hospital

Human resource crunch hits COVID lab

CHITWAN, AUGUST 11 Bharatpur COVID-19 laboratory built in April in a short period of time, is struggling to perform. Shortage of human resources has marred the laboratory’s service delivery. The lab established under Bharatpur Hospital has not made any visible progress compared to its initia Read More...