Human Trafficking: Heinous Crime to Humanity
The Nepalese Perspective
BY DR. BISHNU HARI NEPAL
In the global perspective, the number of “Forced Labor” today comes to 2.4mn. Specially, the women and girls are the victims. It is estimated that 6-8mn victims are supplied worldwide annually and 80% of them are women. Further worse, the figure of minor victims comes to be 12mn, of which, 43% are sexually exploited, 32 % are used in involuntary servitude and 25% suffer both sexual abuse and involuntary servitude. One data reveals that 5000 to 6000 women and minors from Nepal are sold to India annually. The victims are forced to prostitutions, domestic servants, beggars, factory workers, mine workers, circus performers, child-soldiers, farm workers and so on. Those who are coerced to prostitution in India, it is said that they are put into the brothels in the cities like Mumbai. The victims get only 5-10% of the profit, if any. But they have to satisfy 3-14 costumers daily, and some times more as per demand.
Forced Labor is prohibited by “ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights” adopted in 1998. Nepal has had a law, for instance, “Muluki Ain” some 163 years ago given by the then Rana PM Jung Bahadur and later “Das Pratha Unmulan”-Slavery Abolition Act 1983VS by the then PM Chandra Shumshere Rana-90 years ago, Labor Act 1992, The Human Trafficking Control Act 1986, National Human Rights Commission Act 1993 etc. The maximum penalty to the criminal is as good as of death sentence i. e. 20-years imprisonment but the trafficking could not be stopped. The only protocol Nepal has not signed is “Palemo Protocol on Trafficking 2003”.But this is not the hindrance for Nepal by not signing the “Palemo Protocol” –the reason that the flow of trafficking is fostering day by day. The greatest hurdle for Nepal is the 1850KM long porous border with India and civic sense primarily. Both governments are unable to stop this heinous crime due to the open border between the two countries. Third major factor is the 1950 Treaty between Nepal and India, by which, the Nepalese are privileged to work in India officially even in the government jobs, whereas, Indians are not allowed in Nepal. This provision also encourages Nepalese to go to India in search of work officially. Therefore, strictly regulated border between Nepal and India is the primary resolution stopping, even 20% minors, among victims trafficked to India in future.