Curse of human trafficking

Nepal alone is not facing the menace of women trafficking, it is being faced globally. Slavery has a history dating back thousands of years. It existed since prehistoric hunting societies. Slaves have always been subject to physical exploitation that included forced labour, domestic slavery and forced begging; and most dominantly sexual exploitation. However, from the  point of view of exploitation, it has a much shorter history. The international trade in women came into focus in Europe in 1890s with the movement against  white slavery that has been given different names at different times, but it all  meant the procurement of women by force against their will for prostitution.

In 1921 the League of 34 nations debated and resolved to replace the term “White Slave Traffic” by the term “Traffic in Women and Children”. The convention expanded the scope of trafficking to include other than white women and children.

It further included children of both sexes to be addressed as victims of traffic, as the convention recognized for the first time that male children could also be victims of trafficking. It is only recently in 2000 that United Nations Protocol against Trafficking in Persons was adopted and it came into force in 2003. It is the first international legal instrument that addresses human trafficking as a crime including all forms of exploitation. It is also the first instrument against crime that balances law enforcement action with the rights of victims.

During all these years, series of surveys and studies have been made on the aspects like i) were there a considerable number of foreign women engaged in prostitution in the countries studied; ii) was there demand for foreign women in the said countries and what created this demand, iii) from which surroundings the women were obtained and whether they left their countries by themselves or with the help or influence of other persons; iv) who are traffickers; and v) from which countries did the women come, by which means are they induced to leave their countries and which routes they travelled etc.

Lack of knowledge of the phenomenon and of the sufferings that  follow is the basic reason today behind the menace that takes place in the name of migration for a bright future.  Sincere steps are needed to be taken in each country to enforce three Ps – Prevention, Protection and Prosecution.