1.5 Million Nepalese Vulnerable To Human Trafficking, Says Nepal’s National Rights Body
N24 Correspondent, KATHMANDU: Nepal’s 1.5 million people or 5.35 percent of its approximately 28 million populations are highly vulnerable for the illicit practice of human trafficking and consequent sufferings, according to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Nepal.
“Among the 1.5 million vulnerable people, 1.2 million are teenager girls of rural areas aged 13 to 19. Likewise, 200,000 of the vulnerable people are getting ready for dubious foreign employments, while 100,000 of the vulnerable people are likely to be used as child labors,” said Mohna Ansari, a Member (Commissioner) with the NHRC.
From among the 1.5 million vulnerable people, 35,000 are “sold” every year for human trafficking to engage in difficult and danger foreign employments, adult entertainment and child labor activities, added a recent NHRC report on the situation of human rights in Nepal.
According to Nawaraj Dhakal, a former Assistant Inspector General (IGP) of Nepal Police, traffickers have been using various means and tools to carry out their activities, unhindered.
“Since Nepal has banned sending women to Gulf countries and Africa as the domestic workers, traffickers have now started using various routes of India to traffic Nepalese women to these regions,” said former IGP Dhakal.
“Nepalese young girls are trafficked to Kenya and Tanzania of Africa, various Gulf countries, Malaysia, Maldives and Sri Lanka to work basically in the entertainment sector,” Dhakal said.
As per the data of Nepal Police Headquarters, a total of 1,005 legal cases of human trafficking were filed in the past 4 years. In these cases, 1,176 culprits were also arrested. Among the arrested, 46 are foreign nationals.
In these 1,005 cases, 322 women traffickers were also involved, while 743 traffickers are still absconding.
Traffickers use various routes for various destinations. For instance, they use Kathmandu- New Delhi – Mizoram – Sri Lanka route to traffic to Gulf countries. Likewise, they use Dubai-Libya-Italy route to traffic to Europe. Similarly, they use Nepal- New Delhi – Dubai route to traffic to African countries.
For trafficking into the U.S., the traffickers first fly the victims from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal to New Delhi, India. The flight from New Delhi is then destined for Moscow (Russia) followed by Spain (Europe) and then to Ecuador (South America).
From Ecuador, there may not be necessarily any flight, as the traffickers then use the land and water routes to traffic to the U.S. Their next destination after Ecuador is Panama followed by Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and finally Mexico.
“From Mexico, they try to sneak into the U.S. waiting for what they call as the right time,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ishwor Babu Karki, who heads the Human Trafficking Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police.
The stories of suffering and deceits at the hands of the human traffickers are numerous, as they keep coming almost every day.
For instance, 6 Nepalese were lured for jobs in the U.S. but were flown to Malawi, Africa to be kept as hostages for weeks before they were rescued and flown back to Nepal. Among them, 4 were from Parbat district and 1 each were from Dang and Rukum districts. The culprit in this case was identified as Nazir Ahmad, a Malawian citizen of Indian origin.
Likewise, 6 Nepalese and 4 Chinese nationals were arrested for trafficking Nepalese girls into China on the fake context of arranging marriages for the girls with the Chinese grooms. The girls were instead trafficked for sexual exploitation and prostitution.
Similarly, 74 Nepalese girls and women were kept hostages in New Delhi, India in the name of flying them to other countries for lucrative foreign jobs. Earlier, some of them were even sent to Iraq and Oman, which is banned by Nepal, to work as domestic workers and in some cases, as the sex workers. All of them were rescued later.
“All those 74 Nepalese girls and women were forcefully kept hostages. A Nepalese agent was involved in this crime,” revealed a Nepal Police official, who investigated this case.