Katerina Canyon (CONCERN)

Katerina Canyon (CONCERN in Nepal): Prior to her fellowship Katerina obtained a BA in creative writing from Saint Louis University, where she wrote for OneWorld Magazine and University News. She served as an international affairs intern at the Peace Economy Project, where she researched U.S. spending and involvement in military actions. At the time of her fellowship Katerina was studying for an MA in Law and Diplomacy at The Fletcher School, Tufts University. After her fellowship, Katerina wrote: “I look at the world and children differently. I am now starkly aware of the differences between the U.S. and other parts of the world.” kcanyon@advocacynet.org



Nepal’s Human Trafficking Narrative

28 Jun

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.”

CONCERN’s Work

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

2 Comments

  • Katerina Canyon (CONCERN)

    June 30, 2014

     

    The little news in Nepal found on the 2014 Trafficking in Persons report was positive. Secretary of State John Kerry actually gave a Trafficking in Persons hero award to a Nepali judge for his work in combatting trafficking. As far as relevancy between child labor and trafficking is concerned, I believe it helps the campaign against child labor to point out trafficking. Doing this helps give people a better impression of the implications of child labor. People often think child labor involves children working side-by-side with their families to put food on the table. Many times, children have not seen their parents in years. Often they don’t even know if their parents are receiving the money that they are making.
    Regarding sexual abuse, there have been many reports on the prevalence of sexual abuse. In 2008, the International Labour Organization released a report detailing the many forms of sexual abuse prevalent in the child labor force. The organization noted forms of sexual commercialization and pointed out that girls were far more susceptible to sexual abuse than boys.

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