Nepal is mainly a source country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Nepali men are subjected to forced labor, most often in the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, within the country. Nepali women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking in Nepal, India, and the Middle East, and also are subjected to forced labor in Nepal and India as domestic servants, beggars, factory workers, mine workers, and in the adult entertainment industry. They are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor in other Asian destinations, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, and South Korea. The Chinese district of Khasa on the border with Nepal is an emerging sex trafficking destination for Nepali women and girls. Nepali boys also are exploited in domestic servitude and – in addition to some Indian boys – subjected to forced labor in Nepal, especially in brick kilns and the embroidered textiles industry.
The Government of Nepal does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government developed two policy initiatives providing minimum standards for trafficking victim care and standard operating procedures for shelter homes, endorsed a national plan of action on human trafficking, and increased prosecutions. Problems remained, however. Anti-trafficking structures were ineffective, and trafficked Nepali migrant workers did not receive sufficient support from the government. Anti-trafficking laws were not well implemented, and some funds allocated for protection in previous years remain unspent. Victim identification efforts were weak, with child sex trafficking victims sometimes being returned to their abusers in the wake of raids. Incidents of trafficking-related complicity by government officials persisted and were unaddressed through law enforcement means. Many government officials do not prosecute under the trafficking law due to lack of awareness about the law and challenges in evidence collection. Some NGOs report that law enforcement authorities do not consider domestic forced prostitution of adults to be a trafficking issue.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working on trafficking issues report an increase in both transnational and domestic trafficking during the reporting period, although a lack of reliable statistics makes the problem difficult to quantify. NGOs estimate that 10,000 to 15,000 Nepali women and girls are trafficked to India annually, while 7,500 children are trafficked domestically for commercial sexual exploitation. In many cases, relatives or acquaintances facilitated the trafficking of women and young girls into sexual exploitation. Women and girls are also trafficked to other Asian destinations, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, and South Korea for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor.
The Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation estimated that, annually in Nepal, 20,000 to 25,000 girls become involuntary domestic workers. Bonded labor also remains a significant problem, affecting entire families forced into labor as land tillers or cattle herders. Over one million Nepali men and women work abroad in countries other than India, which is, by far, the most popular destination for Nepali workers. Many of them migrate willingly to Malaysia, Israel, South Korea, the United States, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and other Gulf states with the help of labor brokers and manpower agencies. They work as domestic servants, construction workers, or other low-skill laborers, and subsequently face conditions indicative of forced labor such as withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, deprivation of food and sleep, and physical or sexual abuse. Many are deceived about their destination country.
Nepal’s role as a destination for foreign child sex tourists appears to be growing, as efforts to confront this problem in traditional Southeast Asian destinations have become more effective, according to local observers.
Read the complete The Trafficking In Persons Report 2012
Source: U.S. State Department