KATHMANDU, Sept 11: While hundreds of Nepalis are said to be victims of human trafficking every year, only a handful of them file a police report. According to a recent report published by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the main problem is that the victims do not realize that they have been rescued from the risk of being trafficked. Many of those who are rescued perceive that they are restricted to go abroad for work and earning, cursing their rescuers instead, said the human rights watchdog.
A majority of the potential victims rescued are low skilled aspiring foreign migrants who are usually unaware about the trap they just avoided. Only 305 complaints against traffickers were registered at various district police offices across the country in the recently concluded fiscal year 2017/018. Likewise, in the previous fiscal year of 2016/017, the total number of police complaints against traffickers stood at 227.A majority of the complaints were registered in districts of Province 3 and Province 5 during the last two fiscal years, shows the report 'Trafficking In Persons In Nepal: National Report'.In contrast, the number of trafficking victims rescued by police stands comparatively higher than the complaints.
Police rescued 336 victims in 2015, 501 in 2016, and 607 in 2017.In the three-year period (2014/015 – 2016/017), Nepali embassies abroad rescued/repatriated a total of 5,931 Nepali migrant workers victimized by trafficking, the data shows. The highest rescues, in subsequent order, were made from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia, India and the UAE.Traffickers are found to be using different modus operandi for luring the victims. According to the report, a few victims are trafficked by using coercive measures such as threats and use of drugs. In majority of the cases, the victims are largely tempted by false promises of lucrative jobs and good salaries, the report mentioned.
In order to counter the network of the organized crime, the NHRC has suggested various measures. Mapping and identifying the at-risk communities, locations and groups; strengthening public awareness and information campaigns targeting the vulnerable groups; penalizing the recruiting agencies, agents, and others allegedly involved in fraudulent recruitment, among other recommendations.