Nepal (Tier 2)
Nepal is a source country for internationally trafficked women and children. Poor, uneducated young women from Nepal's rural regions are trafficked to India to work as prostitutes and for bonded labor. Nepalese citizens also are trafficked to Hong Kong, Thailand, and countries in the Middle East. Government officials suspect that organized crime groups and "marriage brokers" are the primary traffickers in Nepal and state that parents and other relatives of trafficking victims are sometimes complicit.
The Government of Nepal does not yet fully meet the minimum standards; however, the Government is making significant efforts to combat trafficking despite severe resource constraints. The Human Trafficking Control Act of 1986 prohibits selling persons in Nepal or abroad and provides for penalties of up to 20 years' imprisonment for traffickers. However, this legislation does not criminalize the separation of minors from their legal guardians with the intent of trafficking them. As a result, no crime occurs until the victim and perpetrators are outside Nepalese jurisdiction. No laws cover receiving trafficked persons. The open border with India does not allow for stringent border monitoring. Low-level corruption among border guards and law enforcement allows trafficked women to be brought out of the country. The Government actively investigates and prosecutes trafficking and has created an anti-trafficking unit within the police. The Government, together with NGO's and international organizations, has implemented local, regional and national public awareness campaigns about trafficking in persons. The Government provides limited funding to NGO's to provide assistance to victims through rehabilitation, medical care, and legal services. The Government protects the rights of victims and does not detain, jail, or prosecute them for violations of other laws. The Government has imposed restrictions on women's travel to some countries to work as domestic servants, in response to past cases of abuse of such women. Women's rights groups have protested the ban as discriminatory.