NHRC report shows rise in human trafficking post-quake

Published On: July 5, 2017 12:40 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

23,000 cases of trafficking or attempt to traffic reported in FY 2105/016
KATHMANDU, July 5: Human trafficking has significantly increased after the earthquake of 2015, shows a recently published report of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The revelation was made after reports of trafficking or attempts to traffic roughly around 23,000 Nepalis during the fiscal year 2015/16.

The report prepared by the NHRC “Trafficking In Persons (TIP) 2015/016”, which was published on Tuesday, has revealed a very disturbing picture of human trafficking during the earthquake compared to the previous years. NHRC's National Report 2011 had revealed that 11,500 persons were trafficked or attempted to traffic in the fiscal year of 2011/012, with the next fiscal's report estimating the number of the victims to be around 13,900 to 15,600. Exceeding all the figures of the previous years, this year's report estimates that 6,100 persons were trafficked; 13,600 attempted to traffic; and 3,500 persons have been missing.

The report states that children are especially under high risk of being trafficked. The report further says that a total of 44,131 children were vulnerable to trafficking by the end of June 2016 in 14 earthquake-hit districts of Nepal. Excluding the Kathmandu Valley, the number of children reported missing in the earthquake-hit districts increased from 829 to 1165 after the earthquake - an increase by 40.5 percent, says the report.

However, the numbers of trafficking cases registered with the police is still low against the actual number of victims believed to have been trafficked to other countries, the report states. In the fiscal year of 2015/16, a total of 212 cases of human trafficking were registered with the police but the actual number of victims was 352. Nonetheless, the number is higher than that of previous two years. Police cases registered in the fiscal year 2013/014 and 2015/015 were 185 and 181 respectively.

The NHRC's report has also highlighted emerging trend of human smuggling and trafficking. It includes smuggling people to China for forced sex, smuggling to Afghanistan via New Delhi for security guard, smuggling to USA via Latin America by education consultancy agents, trafficking for marriage to South Korea and trafficking for kidney transplant among others.

In the aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake of 2015, there was not just increase in cases of human trafficking but the number of rape and attempted rape cases against women and children also increased significantly in the country's quake-hit districts, the report shows.

Besides that, justice for victims of foreign employment also looks grim. In the fiscal year 2015/016, 704 complaints were received by the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), out of which it settled only 94 cases. In the previous fiscal years too, the number of settled cases were very low. During the fiscal year 2012/013, the DoFE settled 202 cases out of 1245 complaints received, while it settled 151 cases out of 974 cases during the fiscal year 2013/014, according to the report.

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