Women’s Trafficking: Nepal Fights Back

Published On: March 24, 2023 07:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

It is truly disheartening to see that Nepal continues to face the issue of women's trafficking. Despite the efforts made by the government and various organizations, human traffickers continue to use their old tactics to lure unsuspecting victims into their traps. The rescue of 10 women, including teenage girls, from different districts of Nepal, who were forcefully kept in a flat in Kishangadh area of New Delhi for sex trade, on Thursday is yet another reminder of the grave situation. It serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges we face in combating this heinous crime. The fact that the victims were lured with the promise of a better future is particularly alarming, as it shows that traffickers are still using the same old formula to prey on unsuspecting young women and girls.

It is reported that the victims were promised better job opportunities, and once they reached their destination, they were forced into sex trade. This is not an isolated case, and we have seen similar incidents in the past where young girls and women have been trapped under the pretext of providing them with better job opportunities. The traffickers use their old formula of "better job, better future" to lure the unsuspecting victims not only from the remote and rural areas but also from the cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara, making the situation even more challenging.

It is commendable that the joint operation by Nepal Police, Anti Human Trafficking Bureau, Nepali Embassy, Keen India, Shakti Group, and Delhi Police resulted in the rescue of the 10 women. However, it is also important to address the root cause of the problem, which is poverty and lack of education. Traffickers target young, poorly educated people from traditionally marginalized castes and ethnic minority communities with limited economic opportunities – all vulnerable to the false promises of traffickers. Therefore, it is imperative that the government and organizations work towards providing better education and economic opportunities to the vulnerable communities.

The statistics on human trafficking in Nepal are alarming and demand immediate attention from the authorities. A report by the National Human Rights Commission released in August 2019 revealed that a staggering 1.5 million Nepalis are at risk of falling victim to human trafficking, with nearly 35,000 Nepali citizens being trafficked in the previous year alone. The majority of the trafficked population was from the foreign employment and child labor sectors, and women and children made up a significant proportion of the total number of victims. This highlights the need for stringent screening processes and formal mechanisms to address this issue, especially at the open border between Nepal and India, which is often used for human trafficking to third countries.

The report also shed light on the dire situation faced by Nepali girls and women who are taken to India for sex trade, forced labor, and other forms of exploitation. According to the report, nearly 1,000 Nepali girls and women are rescued from India every year, highlighting the urgent need for effective measures to curb cross-border trafficking. So, it is crucial for NGOs and other stakeholders to work together to combat this heinous crime and provide a safe and secure environment for vulnerable populations. And it is perhaps high time for Nepal and India to join forces and put in place comprehensive measures to tackle human trafficking and ensure the safety and well-being of their citizens.

Meanwhile, it is heartening to hear that the recent rescue operation was successful in saving the 10 victims of human trafficking. However, we must not become complacent, as there are still many more women and girls who are being trafficked and who need our help. To tackle the issue of women’s and girl’s trafficking, we need a multi-pronged approach that includes prevention, protection, and prosecution.

Prevention measures could include targeted awareness-raising campaigns to educate young women and girls and their families about the dangers of trafficking and how to recognize and avoid potential traffickers. Protection measures should focus on providing support and assistance to victims of trafficking, including access to medical care, legal aid, and safe shelter. Law enforcement agencies need to be trained to recognize and respond to cases of trafficking, and there should be mechanisms in place to ensure that victims are not re-trafficked. Prosecution measures should target traffickers and those who facilitate trafficking, and should be accompanied by strong penalties and legal frameworks that hold perpetrators accountable.

Let's stand together and fight against this heinous crime of women's trafficking, and remember, education and economic empowerment are key to breaking the cycle of poverty and vulnerability that makes young women and girls susceptible to trafficking. Let's work towards a world where women's trafficking is a thing of the past, and not the present.

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