Human Trafficking Up 40% After 2015 Nepal Quake
At a time when women representation in Nepal’s national and local politics is being celebrated as an achievement in the region, a national report on human trafficking has found that women continue to be the biggest victims of human trafficking in Nepal. Indeed, during the year following April 2015’s earthquake, human trafficking increased in Nepal by a staggering 40% compared to the year before. The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) national report 2015/16, released on Tuesday, June 5, has found that women and children are affected the most, but many men are also trafficked abroad through the promise of better opportunities.
A total of 23,200 Nepalis were reported to be trafficking victims. Of that, 6,100 persons were trafficked, 13,600 were victims of attempted trafficking, 3,900 person had gone missing last year, according to a national report of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
VICTIMS OF ATTEMPTED TRAFFICKING
VICTIMS OF ATTEMPTED TRAFFICKING (female)
Incidents of trafficking increased compared to 2014/2015
never enrolled in school
studied till grade 10
educated till/more than secondary level
According to the report, 60 percent of trafficked Nepalis, and 98 percent of attempted trafficking victims were female. The national report, which is a compilation of the records maintained by civil society organisations, Nepal Police, and government agencies, has revealed that 70 percent of missing persons are girls.
The most worrying part of the report is that of trafficking incidents having increased by 40 percent. Last year, the number of trafficked people was 16,500. The figure of attempted trafficking victims in each of the previous two fiscal years (2013-14 and 2014-15) was 9,000 and 9,500 respectively.
Nepal has celebrated her first female President, first female Speaker, and the first female Chief Justice as great examples of women empowerment. Forty percent representation of women at local bodies, after the recently held local elections, has also added to that sense of empowerment. Yet, some things on the ground have taken a turn for the worse.
“There are many factors for the sorry situation of women in this country,” said Mohna Ansari, NHRC Commissioner. “We can be hopeful if women are given important roles in policy-making and at the implementation level. This is happening gradually in recent days.”
Of the trafficked survivors, a whopping 80.4 percent had never been to school, while 16.2 percent had studied till grade 10, and 4.3 percent beyond secondary level.
Occupation-wise, 54.5 percent survivors came from agricultural backgrounds, 16.8 percent from non-agricultural, and 14.8 percent were those who wanted to study abroad.
Of these trafficked survivors, 58.2 percent were Janajati, followed by Bramhin/Chhetri at 25.3, Dalit 12.2, and Madhesis 3.7 percent.
Nepal has been placed in the second tier of the US Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, this year. Nepal falls in this category alongside Afghanistan, Kosovo, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Bahrain, among others. Mostly European countries—Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Portugal, Denmark, UK, and American countries US, Canada, Colombia, Chile, fall under the Tier 1 category.
As per the monitoring report, Tier 1 includes countries that fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards. Countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant effort to meet those standards all in Tier 2. Countries that do not fully meet the minimum standards and are not making any significant effort to do so are clubbed under Tier 3.
Nepal has been in Tier 2 ever since the US started preparing its global report in 2001.