“Victim identification hinders attempts to counter human trafficking”


February 24, 2022


“Victim identification hinders attempts to counter human trafficking”

Representatives from various government and civil society organizations participating in a program held to disseminate the research report organized by AATWIN and Hamro Samman, Winrock International, in Kathmandu.

KATHMANDU: Identifying victims of human trafficking is a serious challenge, according to a research work.

Victim identification is hindered by factors like lack of consistent and comprehensive data on migrant workers and high volume of migrants crossing the border, on a daily basis.

Besides, the practice of blaming and shaming victims of human trafficking is another main reason why they are reluctant to reveal their identity.

This was revealed in a program held to disseminate a research report in Kathmandu on Wednesday. Around 50,000 Nepalese citizens cross the Nepal-India border a year, according to the report.

Addressing the program, lead researcher Anjana Shakya said the prevalent misconception that only women are victims of human trafficking is another major obstacle towards victim identification.

In the course of the study titled, ‘Identifying Victims of Trafficking in Persons in Nepali Foreign Migrant Workers: Experiences and Practices’ none of the respondents said that they were intercepted at the border point.

That is because the traffickers train them to avoid detection by authorities at the border point.

The problem also lies in the fact that people view human trafficking from the lens of sexual exploitation alone.

But trafficking takes place in various forms. One should deal with victims of human trafficking from the approach of human rights and dignity, according to Shakya.

Speaking at the program, Chari Maya Tamang an activist working to combat human trafficking said that women victims of human trafficking face the risk of gender-based violence.

During the program speakers also pointed out that not only women but men are also victim of trafficking.

Addressing the program, Bishnu Neupane from the Ministry of Women Children and Senior Citizens appreciated the study report and shared that the ministry has been providing skill-oriented training for the survivors of human trafficking.

Representing the Office of the Attorney General, Bina Dahal shared that her office has prepared a draft on victim identification guidelines which would be published in six months period.

Chief of Anti Human Trafficking Bureau, Nepal Police revealed that traffickers visit adult entertainment sectors in Nepal from several destination countries and lure the workers with high pay and thus the workers end up becoming the victim of trafficking.

Likewise, Tara Bhandari, president of Biswas Nepal said that human trafficking taking place inside the country is also a grave issue.

Her organization has recently conducted research on human trafficking in adult entertainment sector of the country, which will be made public soon, she said.

In her concluding remark Sabina Pradhan, deputy-chief of party of Hamro Samman-Winrock International urged the concerned government bodies to formulate and issue guidelines in identifying the victims at the earliest.

She also stressed on the conceptual clarity on part of the practitioners in their fight against trafficking. Parliamentarians should be well informed on human trafficking issues and related acts should be amended soon, she urged.

The program was organized jointly by AATWIN and Hamro Samman, Winrock International.

The research was commissioned by Alliance Against Trafficking in Children and Women in Nepal with support from Hamro Samman, Winrock International.

In the course of the research, in depth interview was conducted with a total of 45 victims and key informant interviews were conducted with a total of 33 representatives from government and non-government organizations.

The research was conducted in Kathmandu, Banke and Rupandehi districts in the period of August 2020 to June 2021.