U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Nepal

Nepal (Tier 1)1

Nepal is a source country for girls and women trafficked to India for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labor, and work in circuses. Many victims trafficked to India are lured with promises of good jobs or marriage. Others, including boys, are sold by family members or kidnapped by traffickers. Women are trafficked to Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, and other Gulf states for domestic servitude. Internal trafficking for forced labor and sexual exploitation also takes place. Maoist insurgents continue to abduct and forcibly conscript children. Reports indicate that internal trafficking is on the rise due to the insurgency, as rural women and children leave their homes and seek both employment and security in urban centers.

The Government of Nepal fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination trafficking. Despite political and security challenges, the government has sustained its efforts to combat trafficking in persons. Nepal has a National Plan of Action to combat trafficking, a draft Human Trafficking Control Bill to strengthen its 1986 anti-trafficking law, and a National Rapporteur on trafficking. However, these commendable anti-trafficking efforts are hindered by political instability and security problems associated with the Maoist insurgency affecting a large part of the country.


Nepal's law enforcement efforts are commendable given the security and resource challenges that it faces. According to the Attorney General, in 2004, 133 trafficking cases were filed, 32 convictions handed down, and 83 are pending prosecution. In October 2004, a court in Makwanpur convicted a man for attempting to traffic two 16 and 17 year-old girls and sentenced him to ten-years' imprisonment. In March 2005, a court in Jhapa sentenced a man to a 15-year term and hefty fine after convicting him of selling a girl to a brothel in India. Nepal, although not a destination for child sex tourists, prosecuted one case involving sexual abuse of children by tourists in 2004. In January 2005, Nepal negotiated and initialed an extradition treaty and an Agreement on Mutual Assistance on Criminal Matters with India. Nepal has also established a Documentation and Information Center (DIC), which tracks trafficking cases at the district level. Nepal should take measures against some immigration officials, police, and judges suspected of trafficking-related graft and corruption.


The Government of Nepal works well with NGOs to provide protection assistance to victims of trafficking. In 2004, Nepal drafted a bill and accompanying policies and regulations to protect the rights of labor migrants, and rescued and repatriated (in collaboration with India and NGOs) more Nepali girls this year. The Nepali police in 2004 established Women and Children Service Centers in 15 districts to enhance anti-trafficking law enforcement, public awareness, and counseling activities at the district level. These centers provided training on victim support methods to local police and NGOs and the government has plans to create similar centers in four more districts.


During the reporting period, Nepal made progress in its efforts to prevent trafficking. The government has identified 26 high-priority districts as source areas of trafficking and established anti-trafficking "Vigilance Committees." It also requires all workers traveling abroad to attend orientation sessions on safe migration that help prevent trafficking and conducts national and regional information campaigns on trafficking. Planete Enfants, an EU-funded NGO, collaborates with the government in conducting campaigns to educate girls about trafficking in 19 districts. UNIFEM, in coordination with the government, conducts campaigns to target potential victims and deter traffickers by advertising potential 20-year punishment for trafficking. These efforts resulted in the interception and rescue of potential victims and in eroding the stigma associated with being a trafficking victim.

1 Despite setbacks in other areas, Nepal has over the years made steady progress in its efforts to combat trafficking, as the problem affects thousands of its young population. Other serious human rights problems in Nepal are reported and analyzed in the annual Human Rights Report, available at: www.state.gov/drl/hrr


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