Human trafficking prevention becoming more demanding

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Nepalgunj, Jan 2 (RSS): Human trafficking preventive efforts have become more complicated and challenging with the advancement of time, as middlepersons are found using new information technology and ways of communications to find their prey. 

According to Maiti Nepal’s regional coordinator Keshab Koirala, middlepersons and human traffickers seem one step ahead of the police and anti-trafficking organisations, thus making the preventive efforts more complicated. 

With the changing time, traffickers have changed their strategy and methods in committing crimes. They have also started hunting for potential victims within the relatively ‘affluent’ class. Besides, children are also their target group, not only women and girls from the poorest households and the vulnerable community as in the past. 

With the help of advanced information technology, they make contact to their targets and have been successful in persuading women and children to follow them across the border, giving the (false) promises of lucrative jobs, the most common tactic. 

The Maiti Nepal regional office, Nepalgunj in a period of one year (2018), rescued 82 women and girls forced into labour and sex exploitation from India, Dubai of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Besides, in the same period, 210 women and girls (from Banke); 110 ( Surkhet), 119 ( Dang) and 97 ( Dang), the potential victims of trafficking, were rescued from the Nepal-India border points. 

Women and girls of Karnali province and some districts in the Far-Western Region seem more vulnerable to trafficking, he said. 

Despite countless efforts by the government and non government offices to control human trafficking, the expected result is still awaited. 

“Lack of coordinated efforts, human trafficking issue is still failing to be treated as a political issue and lack of development of reliable structures from the government level are among the reasons that still bar us from inching to the expected goal,” said Nepalgunj sub metropolis deputy major Uma Thapa Magar. 

The office statistics show the vulnerable situation of trafficking that women and girls of two provinces face. In the past one year, 920 women and girls (from these provinces) were made to return from Nepal-India border points as they were en route to India and other third world countries. 

Nepal’s law defined the human trafficking as a crime of the serious nature. A person convicted in the human trafficking case (selling or purchasing) faces a 20-year-jail sentence along with fine of up to Rs 200 thousands.

Similarly, a person involved in the transportation of transporting the victim shall face a 10-15-year jail sentence and a fine from 50,000- to Rs 100,000. 
Despite strong legal measures to control the crime, in many cases, survivors are reluctant to knock onto court’s door because a tardy process to get justice, said advocate Basanta Gautam. “They prefer to settle the case outside the court, instead,” he added. 

Political access and connection of a perpetrator is one of the causes that influence the human trafficking cases. 

The personal experience of Koirala is that any accused in the crime have some sort of political connection and once the prosecution of case begins, the exercise of power begins. “Survivors and their family members get threats, are financially lured and stop the case, thus affecting the entire legal procedures.” 

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