As I mentioned in my last post, the State Department released the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report. I had the opportunity to read Nepal’s narrative. Here’s a summary and a few of my thoughts.
Nepal’s narrative reports that Nepal is a Tier 2 Trafficking Country, which is not bad considering Nepal’s current state of economic development. Of course, that still leaves room for significant improvement. The narrative states that Nepal is a “source, transit, and destination” for men, women and children who are subjected to the forced labor industry. It reports that Nepali girls are subjected to sex trafficking not only within Nepal, but also in Malaysia, Hong Kong, mainland China, and as far as Sweden. Nepali men, women, and children are subjected to forced labor in these regions as well.
According to the narrative, prosecution results have been mixed. The government has prosecuted fewer traffickers but has increased prosecutions of public officials for complicity and fraud; however, there are still reports that many public and government officials remain complicit in the commission of these crimes.
The Nepal Police Women’s Cell investigated 26 more sex and labour cases (144) this year than last year. The Nepal Police Women’s Cell investigates crimes wherein women are the primary victims. Unfortunately, according to this report Nepal “did not demonstrate increased progress in protecting its victims.” Observer reports declare that some victims were arrested for up to 24 days and then released back into the hands of traffickers due to bribes paid to the police.
The government’s efforts to prevent human trafficking are reported to be “limited.” The documents states, “the inter-ministerial National Committee for Controlling Human Trafficking (NCCHT) met regularly; continued to develop, but did not finalize, a national action plan…”
To Nepal’s credit, the report notes that the Government of Nepal worked to “improve monitoring of labor recruitment,” which states that the government conducted 156 surprise inspections at manpower agencies and issued “227 license suspensions during the reporting period.”
My fellowship organization, CONCERN – Nepal, is currently working on creating an advocacy program to help address the issues that are halting Nepal’s progress at a national level. Through my work at CONCERN, I have learned that there is minimal awareness of human rights among legal authorities, and that this awareness lessens as you move into rural areas, and that ninety percent of Nepal’s population live in rural areas. In rural areas, we find that decisions are made based on individual opinion rather than rights or formal law.
Additionally, there is a significant lack of resources for Nepali security and advocacy organizations. Currently, CONCERN is working to gather the funds for a women and children’s rights advocacy program. This program aims to end the lack of enforcement of human rights in Nepal by providing a comprehensive advocacy and education program for government and non-profit entities so that they can work in a unified manner in order to strengthen human rights enforcement capabilities.
Through this program, CONCERN plans to conduct a nationwide education campaign about this unnatural disaster. This program will provide comprehensive tools through publication, radio, television, and online media, in order to make the public aware of its human rights. I set out to create proactive roles for women and children that enable them to participate in human rights reform. Most importantly, this campaign will advocate for the finalization of a national plan of reforms to enforce, support and protect women and children’s rights.
This program is sorely needed, and it is a grand undertaking. This unnatural disaster must stop. CONCERN is working on the funding to pull it all together and could really use your help. If you are interested in contributing to this campaign, please use the donate button in my blog, and note that you are contributing the money to CONCERN. Thank you for helping the pursuit of worldwide human rights by donating or simply passing this link along to your friends.
Posted By Katerina Canyon (CONCERN)
Posted Jun 28th, 2014