Nepal is a country with a rich cultural history and incredible mountainous beauty. Unfortunately, it is also a source, transit and destination country for modern slavery including bonded labor and sex trafficking.
Various studies have claimed that the rate of victims of Nepali origin trafficked to India has significantly increased in recent years. One news report indicated: “After decades of trafficking, there are no young women left in northern Nuwakot. It is estimated that more than 5,000 of the women from this remote mountain region are in brothels in Mumbai and other cities in India.”
On September 2-3, 2019, JVI staff and one of its partners, CarNet Nepal, were in Nuwakot to conduct an anti-human trafficking conference to fight this very issue. Speakers at the conference educated the women on human trafficking laws. Through an interactive process the women developed action plans for working together to raise further awareness in their communities to protect vulnerable girls and identify and report suspected cases.
Since 2016, JVI has been working with local NGO partners, faith communities and government agencies in Nepal to bring greater freedom, justice and restoration to those trapped in modern day slavery through rescue interventions, supportive services, advocacy and training.
In the past few years, JVI has observed a growing demand for training on human trafficking. Aftercare partners have requested to be trained on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, depression and survivor’s guilt. Freedom businesses have requested staff training on how to support women with severe trauma and practical ways managers can help encourage and support their employees with trauma. Churches, pastors and community leaders have requested to be trained on safe and effective methods to report trafficking cases.
JVI has been diligently providing training to support these community leaders and various stakeholders. To enhance these training efforts, JVI developed an advocacy manual, specific to Nepali law, containing standard operating procedures for the rescue and rehabilitation of bonded labour victims and prosecution of bonded labour perpetrators. This year, JVI is adding standard operating procedures for the rescue and rehabilitation of sex trafficking victims and the prosecution of sex traffickers, in order to develop a thorough resource that will assist these various stakeholders in their anti-trafficking efforts in Nepal.
There is still much work to do, but we celebrate the accomplishments. Last year, JVI provided assistance to rescue 23 minors and 2 adults from human trafficking and provided supportive services to 50 survivors in aftercare programs. On November 5th, 2018 a notorious trafficker in Nepal was sentenced to 15 years in jail as a result of a testimony from a survivor who was trafficked by him nearly 10 years ago. This sentence was a major victory in Nepal in a source district for human trafficking.
Learn more about ways you can get involved and support this critical work in Nepal and other regions where JVI serves victims of human trafficking and other forms of extreme injustice.