against trafficking. IPEC support yields results
Action at national level
The National Plan of Action against Trafficking
of Children and their Commercial Exploitation was developed as a
result of the consultative workshop held in Kathmandu in April 1998.
It identified the following six areas of action to prevent trafficking:
n Policy, research and institutional
n Legislation and enforcement
n Awareness creation, advocacy, networking
and social mobilization
n Health and education
n Income and employment generation
n Rescue and social integration.
IPEC had already supported an action programme
to strengthen the capacity of government institutions in the fight
against child trafficking. As a result, a broad-based National Task
Force on Prevention of Trafficking in Children was established,
under the auspices of the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare,
to provide guidance and policy advice regarding the implementation
of action programmes against child trafficking. The Task Force consists
of representatives of the Government Ministries involved, representatives
of the National Planning Commission, the police and NGOs. International
organizations, such as ILO and UNICEF, provide technical support
to the Task Force.
District Task Forces are being set up with representatives
from the police, social organizations, local NGOs and District Child
Welfare Boards as members. Their role will be to coordinate district-level
activities against trafficking, identifying vulnerable communities
and assisting in the implementation of programmes in affected areas.
IPEC has also been supporting direct action at
community level. Maiti Nepal, an NGO, has formed surveillance groups
in districts severely affected by child trafficking and is carrying
out campaigns with the help of college students and victims. It
has set up a camp at an important transit point, providing shelter
as well as basic education and vocational training to girls who
are at risk of being sold into prostitution, as well as for those
who have been rescued. Following training, the girls are helped
in finding employment or in setting up a small business. Another
transit home is being set up near the border with India to provide
shelter to girls who have been rescued from brothels in India and
repatriated to Nepal.
Maiti coordinates its activities with NGOs in India
for rescue and repatriation of victims. It also works with the Nepali
police and authorities for the prosecution of offenders. Victims
are often traumatized, suffer from diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis,
and require immediate medical treatment and psychological counseling.
Maiti plans to provide a wide range of rehabilitation services to
children. Between February 1997 and July 1999, a total of 120 girls
received non-formal education and vocational training in the Prevention
Camp and were thus saved or rescued.
IPEC is currently carrying out two time-bound projects,
one supported by the United States, called Setting National Strategies
for the Elimination of Girls' Trafficking and Commercial Sexual
Exploitation of Children in Nepal, and an ILO/UNICEF project called
Towards Elimination of (Bonded) Child Labour in Nepal, which is
supported by Italian social partners.
The first project supports the work both of the
Ministry of Women and Social Welfare in setting up an Action Programme
and Maiti Nepal in operating its interception centre. IPEC has also
been able to persuade the United Nations Development Programme to
establish a UN Task Force to Combat the Trafficking in Women and
Children and has taken the lead in initiating donor coordination
in the field of child labour by creating a Donors' Coordination
Facts on Trafficking in Nepal
In Nepal, there are estimated to be 25,000
female commercial sex workers, 20 per cent of whom are children
below the age of 16. One NGO estimates that five to seven
thousand children are trafficked out of the country every
year. Currently, there are estimated to be some 200,000 Nepalese
commercial sex workers resident outside the country, 60,000
of them children under the age of 18.
Maiti estimates that between 5,000 and 7,000
children are sold annually into prostitution, though the open
border with India makes it difficult to provide exact data.
Most never see their homes again. Those who manage to return
suffer from sexually-transmitted diseases, drug addition and
mental disorders. A recent sample survey revealed that 37
per cent of the girls who have returned from brothels in India
were infected with HIV.
But the number of child prostitutes is also
increasing in urban Nepal, most girls being migrants from
rural areas. A recent survey in Kathmandu, showed that 13
per cent of girls in the sex trade were in the 13-17 years
There is no law against sexual abuse and
exploitation of boy children in Nepal and Kathmandu is beginning
to be considered as a safe haven for paedophiles.