Preventing trafficking at the grassroots level
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, all countries in the world are affected by human trafficking either as a source, transit or destination country or a combination of all. Nepal has always been faced with the issue of the trafficking of women. People are rendered vulnerable because of their poor socio economic conditions. Officially, 1,700 Nepalese people leave their country every day (unofficially even more!) in the hope of finding better opportunities abroad and jobs that will enable them to support themselves and their families. Traffickers are taking advantage of this trend. They promise opportunities of education or work to young girls and sometimes offer money to their parentsas further incentive. . Thousands of women and young girls find themselves in vulnerable positions, trafficked into sexual exploitation or forced labour.
When they return home, rescued from slavery, they find themselves ostracized and rejected by their own communities. Instead of being protected they carry a stigma whereby community members and family members shun them for fear they carry HIV and they are blamed for their own trafficking.
CWS in partnership with Shakti Samuha has been working to alleviate human trafficking from the grassroots level by organizing and empowering trafficking survivors and adolescents to combat it at the community level. The working areas of this project includes three districts of Nepal: Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot and Kathmandu where the prevalence of trafficking is high. Six Village Development Committees are covered in each district. The targeted groups of this project are women/girls survivors of human trafficking and adolescents who are at high risk of trafficking.
CWS supports Shakti Samuha to continue the project and to help design a sustainable model to continue the vital work of educating communities and at risk groups about human trafficking and potentially expand it to other trafficking prone areas in Nepal.
The project’s overall objective is to reduce the number of trafficking cases in the areas of intervention by empowering those vulnerable to trafficking through education and economic opportunities, the dissemination of information about trafficking, advocacy projects and by reinforcing legal enforcement mechanisms to hold perpetrators accountable.
Interventions are made at the community level through adolescent groups and survivor groups to alleviate human trafficking in the communities involved and to minimize the risks of human trafficking among the adolescent groups in the working areas by implementing awareness programs and carrying out group meetings, trainings, orientation for stakeholders, interactions, quiz competitions, drama workshops and coordination with likeminded organizations.
Beneficiaries in 2014
- 979 teenagers are involved in the project’s adolescent groups, where they meet monthly to discuss issues they face in their communities.
- 200 adolescents (125 girls and 75 boys) of the 979 above were supported through education grants- which covers stationary, school fees and uniform in order to enable them to access education and decrease their vulnerability to trafficking
- 85 survivors of trafficking are involved in survivor groups, meeting once a month to support each other through the challenges they face as well as act as watchdogs in their communities
- 2,000 girls and women looking to issue passport to work abroad were counselled about the risks of human trafficking in the project’s contact centre in Sindhupalchowk. 34 of them returned home without issuing their passports after counselling.