Human trafficking in Nepal takes place in the form of commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Approximately 15,000 to 20,000 persons are trafficked in Nepal every year. It is estimated over 50 women and girls are trafficked each day into India from Nepal.
On April 4th, 2021, JVI along with the local Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) and partner NGO, Shanti Foundation, led a sex trafficking intervention that resulted in the rescue of four victims (two of which were minors) in Kathmandu, Nepal. The majority of the victims were trafficked from Nuwakot district, which, over the years, has become a hotspot for trafficking. In 2018, JVI played a key role in securing a 15-year conviction for one of these notorious traffickers in Nepal in a landmark case.
During the intervention, officials secured the area while JVI staff ensured the victims were calm and informed of what was going on. After searching the facility for other victims, the team left with the survivors who were subsequently placed in aftercare homes where they will receive counseling and other support. On the legal front, JVI lawyers are working closely with the authorities to ensure the perpetrators are put behind bars.
One of the rescued victims, Aasha*, was forced into commercial sexual exploitation due to her family’s poverty. Aasha lost her mother when she was much younger and her father regularly squandered any money he earned on alcohol, leaving Aasha to provide for her younger sister who had a medical condition. Unable to make ends meet, Aasha travelled to Kathmandu in search of a job to pay her sister’s medical expenses. However, due to the pandemic, a scarcity of jobs left Aasha vulnerable, desperate and in dire need of any form of employment that would pay her enough to survive. Sensing her desperation, traffickers approached Aasha offering the false promise of job opportunities.
Since the rescue, Aasha has expressed her desire to study and look for more dignified means of employment to support her family back in the village. Under JVI’s Aftercare program, over the next 24 months, Aasha will have access to education, rehabilitation benefits , counseling and skills training.