Nepal | October 23, 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:

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 41.19 million, death toll at 1,130,036

LONDON: More than 41.19 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,130,036​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December Read More...

Bale starts for Spurs in comfortable 3-0 win over LASK

LONDON: Gareth Bale started for Tottenham Hotspur for the first time in seven years and helped them to a 3-0 win over Austria’s LASK in their first match of the Europa League group phase on Thursday. Lucas Moura opened the scoring after 18 minutes and Bale’s square pass was turned Read More...

Free COVID treatment people’s right: Deuba

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 22 The main opposition Nepali Congress today condemned the government’s decision to charge people for COVID-19 test and treatment. NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba issued a press release demanding repeal of the government’s decision. Deuba urged the government to provide Read More...

‘NHRC report a positive step towards justice’

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 22 A recent report published by the National Human Rights Commission that features details of human rights violations committed by 286 persons in the last two decades is a step towards ensuring accountability and combating impunity for human rights abuses in Nepal, said Asian N Read More...

Media houses asked to provide salary, facilities to working journalists

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 22 The Federation of Nepali Journalists has demanded that all the media houses immediately release due payments, including regular remuneration and Dashain allowance to working journalists and employees. Issuing a statement here today, FNJ General Secretary Ramesh Bista made Read More...

Special security strategy for festivals

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 22 The Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari, has enforced a special security strategy in Kathmandu valley, bearing in mind potential criminal and unlawful activities during the festive season. According to MPO, the new security arrangements were put in place to make secur Read More...

NA to organise symbolic Phulpati Badhai today

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 22 The Nepali Army is going to organise Phulpati Badhai ceremony tomorrow at Sainik Manch in Tundikhel, Kathmandu. The day marks the seventh day of the 10-day Dashain festival. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the supreme commander-in-chief of Nepali Army, will grace the e Read More...

Manang Village, Marshyangdi river, Gangapurna lake

Hotels in Manang reopen

LAMJUNG, OCTOBER 22 The hotels that closed for the past many months due to coronavirus have resumed operation at Manang Disyang Rural Municipality, Manang. Hotels in Pisang, Ngawal, Humde, Bhakra, Tankigaun, Tankimanang, Gharu and Khangsar of the rural municipality opened on October 14. Tou Read More...