US embassy cable - 02KATHMANDU2168


Identifier: 02KATHMANDU2168
Wikileaks: View 02KATHMANDU2168 at
Origin: Embassy Kathmandu
Created: 2002-11-15 10:47:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

E.O. 12958: N/A 
REF.: STATE 219965 
1.   Post hereby submits its anti-trafficking strategy as 
requested reftel.  This document provides information on 
both ongoing and proposed programs and some results to 
2.   Background of Situation 
Nepal is a source country for trafficking of children and 
women mainly to India. Internal Trafficking is on the 
rise. Trafficking has been largely for prostitution, 
domestic and other forms of exploitative labor, and in a 
few cases for organ transplants. 
Estimates on the extent and magnitude of Nepal's problem 
of trafficking vary from source to source.  A study done 
by the International Labor Organization/International 
Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO/IPEC) in 
2001 estimates the number of trafficking victims to be 
12,000 per year in contrast to the 5,000-7,000 quoted in 
earlier publications. The Ministry of Women, Children and 
Social Welfare (MWCSW) has identified twenty-six of 
Nepal's seventy-five districts as trafficking-prone. 
Those at highest risk of being trafficked are from the 
hill ethnic groups and lower castes, but members of 
higher castes have also been trafficked. As awareness and 
surveillance activities in former source districts have 
made trafficking from them more difficult, a geographic 
shift in the activities of traffickers has been observed. 
Girls as young as nine years old have been trafficked. An 
increase in cross-border trafficking of boys for 
exploitative labor has recently been discovered. 
A recent study by Nepal's Integrated Institute for 
Development Studies (IIDS) has identified forty-six NGOs 
and twenty INGOs and Donors working in the area of 
trafficking in and outside Kathmandu. Few organizations 
provide rehabilitation services. Maiti Nepal has a Child 
Protection and Women Rehabilitation Home in Kathmandu, 
Hospices in Kakarbhitta and Jhapa, nine transit homes in 
the five development regions of Nepal, and three 
prevention homes in the central region. ABC Nepal runs 
four transit homes in Janakpur (1), Biratnagar (1) and 
Kathmandu (2). WOREC has a transit home in Dhanusha and 
community safe houses in Udaipur. A Skill Training Center 
is operated by MWCSW for the at risk groups. 
Three networks actively working against trafficking are 
the National Network Against Girl Trafficking (NNAGT), 
Alliance Against Trafficking of Women in Nepal (AATWIN) 
and Network against Trafficking of Women and Children in 
Nepal (NATWC). 
3.   U.S. Government's Response 
The U.S. Government began to assist anti-trafficking 
efforts in Nepal in 1997.  Programs supported have been 
in the areas of Prevention, Protection and Prosecution. 
U.S. Government Agencies supporting anti-trafficking 
activities in Nepal are the U.S. Embassy Political 
Section and Public Diplomacy Office, Peace Corps, 
Department of Defense, Department of Labor, State 
Department and U.S. Agency for International Development 
(USAID). A Mission Anti-Trafficking Committee has been 
established to coordinate initiatives and to prepare the 
annual Trafficking in Persons Report. In addition, USAID 
has a South Asia Regional Program being implemented by 
the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The program 
implementing organizations (U.S. funded) are 
International Labor Organization, World Education, Center 
for Population and Development Activities (CEDPA), The 
Asia Foundation (TAF), UNICEF and Nepali non-governmental 
organizations. The U.S. Department of Labor, USAID and 
he State Department fund these programs. The Mission 
Anti-Trafficking Committee has developed the following 
strategy to guide our efforts based on the three themes 
of Prevention, Protection and Prosecution and is closely 
integrated with the development assistance programs in 
the area of democracy, governance and health.  This 
strategy includes both bilateral and regional activities. 
4.   Program Area: Prevention 
Target audiences: The target audiences for prevention 
programs are vulnerable women and children, government 
anti-trafficking task force members, police, immigration 
and law enforcement agencies, courts, influential 
community groups, transport workers, elected women 
leaders, students, teachers and adolescent girls. 
The Mission's strategy places primary emphasis on 
prevention. Priority activities under the prevention 
program are increasing awareness of trafficking by target 
groups and providing skill training to vulnerable groups 
to make meaningful alternative life choices; training NGO 
workers, community groups and police; conducting literacy 
programs for out of school girls; researching and 
studying migration policies; developing Information 
Education Communication (IEC) messages and a national 
communication strategy; establishing a Documentation 
Information Communication (DIC) system; publishing 
newsletters; strengthening advocacy and co-ordination 
capacity of NGO network and improving the capacity of 
district, municipality and village task forces to combat 
5.   Ongoing or Recently Completed Activities 
Awareness raising and information dissemination: The Asia 
Foundation (TAF) with current USAID assistance (2001- 
2004) under its Democracy and Governance program is 
conducting awareness activities in five districts 
(Dhading, Nawalparasi, Banke, Chitwan and Dhanusha) 
identified by the Ministry of Women Children and Social 
Welfare (MWCSW) as trafficking prone districts. TAF's 
local district partners are The Women Rehabilitation 
Center (WOREC), Center for Legal Research and Resource 
Documentation (CeLRRD), Center for Victims of Torture 
(CVICT), Agro-forestry, Basic Health and Cooperatives, 
Nepal (ABC Nepal), Maiti Nepal, Forum for Women, Law and 
Development (FWLD), National Network against Girl 
trafficking (NNAGT) and NGO Federation. NGO Federation 
and TAF are facilitating meetings with district, 
municipality and village level task forces that have 
cross-sectoral composition for co-ordination to combat 
trafficking. UNIFEM is working with various local 
organizations to raise awareness. ILO/IPEC works through 
'Vigilant Groups' at the community level in the bordering 
districts of Parsa, Jhapa, Rupandehi and Banke to raise 
awareness and share information on the content of ILO 
Convention 182, Child Rights Convention (CRC) and other 
trafficking related issues. Information regarding policy 
issues is shared at the District Development Committee 
To educate Nepal's semi-literate audience, a comic book 
'Our Decision, Our Protection' was published under the 
Frights, Responsibility and Advocacy' component of 
USAID's Women's Empowerment Program in April 2000. 
200,000 copies of the book were distributed in the 
seventy-five districts of the country. 
The Public Diplomacy Office under the International 
Visitor Program sponsors exposure visits of NGO and Govt. 
professionals working on anti-trafficking issues to the 
U.S., and invites speakers from the U.S. to provide 
orientation to their Nepali counterparts on policies and 
regulations adopted by the U.S. Government. 
6.   Research and Study: Nepal's Institute for Integrated 
Development Studies (IIDS) has conducted a study entitled 
'Status and Dimension of Trafficking within Nepal' with 
UNIFEM support under the South Asia Regional Initiative 
for Gender Equity (SARI/Equity) program in 2002. Under 
the TAF supported activity, CeLRRD has completed a 
baseline survey in five districts to assess the situati 
of trafficking. 
Research and studies for better understanding the problem 
of trafficking have been conducted by ILO/IPEC in 2000- 
01. The four studies are entitled 1. Trafficking in Girls 
with Special Reference to Prostitution: A Rapid 
assessment, 2. Trafficking and Sexual Abuse among Street 
Children in Kathmandu, 3. Cross Border Trafficking of 
Boys and 4. Internal Trafficking among Children Engaged 
in Prostitution. 
7.   Development of IEC Messages and National IEC 
Strategy: CEDPA has prepared a compendium of IEC 
materials. From the review of the materials, a list of 
messages and associated behaviors have been drafted that 
will form the basis for developing the National IEC 
Strategy. Establishment of a Documentation Information 
Center (DIC) within the ministry to collect and 
disseminate information on trafficking has enhanced the 
capacity of Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare 
(MWCSW). The aspect of information collection and 
documentation has been strong but the present situation 
of security has resulted in weak dissemination of 
information, as the DIC is not easily accessible. 
8.   Publication of Newsletter: With the objective of 
raising awareness on various topics, four volumes of the 
'Combat' newsletter have been published by 
MWCSW/ILO/CEDPA since 2000, two more volumes will be 
published within 2002. The focus topics of the newsletter 
are health, education, legislation and enforcement, 
income generation, and employment generation and 
promoting anti trafficking behaviors. Similarly NNAGT 
publishes a regular newsletter to disseminate information 
related to trafficking activities. 
9.   Training and Capacity Building: Under the current 
TAF program, specific training is being provided to 
selected target groups. WOREC provided rights based 
training to senior level staff and community level 
trainers of partner organizations to improve knowledge 
within communities and among government personnel of the 
problem of trafficking in their respective districts. A 
training manual on 'Safe Migration Alternatives' was 
prepared in consultation with Ministry of Labor and 
Transportation (Molt) and overseas employment agencies. 
Training is being provided to partner organizations using 
this manual to enable them to deal/orient potential 
migrants on issues related to safe migration. 
10.  Strengthening Advocacy and Co-ordination Capacity of 
NGO Networks: Training and orientation provided regularly 
by NNAGT is strengthening advocacy and co-ordination 
capacity of the NGO networks and its members to combat 
In June 2000, UNIFEM initiated the formation of the South 
Asia Forum against Human Trafficking (SAFAHT) to 
strengthen the regional network. The second regional 
meeting of SAFAHT was conducted in May 2001. 
11.  Improving the Capacity of District, Municipality and 
Village Task Forces: Nepal's District, Municipality and 
Village Task Forces (DTF, MTF, VTF) are being 
strengthened for cross-sectoral co-ordination to combat 
trafficking by implementing/enforcing the existing 
National Plan of Action. ILO/IPEC is working with the 
DTF, MTF and VTFs in four districts, Jhapa, Parsa, 
Rupandehi and Banke and TAF in the selected five 
12.  Literacy Programs: World Education initiated the 
Girls Access to Education (GATE) program (2001-2002) to 
prevent trafficking by educating "out of school" 
adolescent girls and preparing them for the challenges of 
womanhood. 7,500 "out of school" girls from seven 
districts were the target audience of this program. An 
impact evaluation of the GATE program in the first year 
showed a considerably high percentage of increase in 
knowledge amongst the girls regarding trafficking and 
about preventive measures. USAID/Nepal has extended 
support to GATE activity for another year through SO2 
Health Program. 
World Education, through its current 'Brighter Future 
Program' aims to provide literacy to 17,000 children in 
the ag  group of 10-14 who are engaged in the 'worst form 
of child labor' and 65,000 'children at risk' in twenty- 
two districts of Nepal over a period of four years (2002- 
2006). World Education will be working in the same 
districts as ILO/IPEC for their Time Bound Program (2000- 
2005)to eliminate child labor. Trafficking is one of the 
focus areas of this program. ILO/IPEC initiated provision 
of non-formal and formal education in 45 Village 
Development Committees (VDCs) of three districts, which 
are Chitwan, Makwanpur and Nawalparasi. The target 
audience for the awareness program through education is 
4,500 school children and equal number of adults. 
13.  Budget 
Approximately US DOLS 1,233,816 has been obligated for 
the prevention programs by USAID/Nepal and Washington. 
UNIFEM is funded under the South Asia Regional Initiative 
for Gender Equality (SARI/Q) programs of USAID and has a 
funding for approximately US DOLS 3.1 million for the 
whole region. World Education has been granted US DOLS 
4,000,000 in 2002 by Department of Labor for expanding 
literacy and other skill development programs for 
occupational reintegration. ILO/IPEC has been granted US 
DOLS 5,000,000 in 2002 by Department of Labor to 
implement the Time Bound Program. 
14.  Proposed Activities 
Some of the proposed activities for prevention are 
continuation of awareness programs on trafficking and 
safe migration, setting up information booths for migrant 
workers, setting up micro-enterprise activities for 
meaningful employment opportunities for at risk groups, a 
regional study on demand and supply for trafficking, and 
support to strengthen the Government's Village and 
District Task forces. Estimated cost for these programs 
is DOLS 1,002,000.  ILO/IPEC will replicate the ongoing 
activities in four cluster districts of the eastern 
region in the near future. 
15.  Indicators for Program Monitoring 
-    Mechanisms for cooperation on anti trafficking 
activities between government and NGOs established and 
-    Sustainable NGO networks working against 
-    Increased anti-trafficking advocacy and services by 
organizations and networks already mobilized around other 
women's and children's issues. 
-    Increased knowledge of trafficking and preventive 
measures by target groups. 
16.  Program Area: Protection (Rescue/Rehabilitation) 
Target audiences: The target audiences for protection 
(rescue/ rehabilitation) are victims of trafficking, some 
at risk girls and women, police, and NGOs assisting 
Priority and funded activities for protection are 
sensitization programs for service providers and law 
enforcing government agencies, support to transit homes, 
research-study on best practices for alternative 
livelihood strategies and training for gainful employment 
17.  Ongoing or Recently Completed Activities 
Sensitization Program: UNIFEM and UNICEF sensitize police 
at border crossings in handling rescued/repatriated 
victims. US Embassy/State and the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service (INS) conducts anti-fraud training 
for immigration and customs officers. The last training 
was conducted in 2001 and included a presentation on 
trafficking by ABC Nepal. Other governmental officials, 
NGO representatives and third-country Embassy personnel 
also attended. NGOs and community groups have been 
sensitized to the issues of HIV/AIDS and its relation to 
trafficking and the need to rehabilitate returnees of 
trafficking under USAID/Nepal's Health program. 
18.  Training: CVICT has provided training to strengthen 
the capacity of NGOs providing rehabilitation and 
counseling for trafficking victims, abused women and 
children, and at risk groups. CVICT has also assisted 
partner organizations to set up a case study 
documentation system and establish local referral 
practices. UNICEF is supporting training of the police 
for investigative crime scene management. ILO/IPEC 
ported developing the curriculum for the counseling 
training and is coordinating efforts to take this manual 
to the regional level. ILO/IPEC will build capacity of 
NGOs to promote national standardized guidelines on 
childcare facilities. 
19.  Research-study: WOREC/TAF are conducting a study on 
best practices for alternative livelihood strategies. 
UNIFEM/Sarthak carried out a need assessment study to 
review the existing status of socio-psycho counseling 
expertise in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. 
20.  Gainful Employment Opportunities: UNIFEM has 
supported 'Shakti Samuha' (a group of fifteen returned 
victims) with occupational reintegration by assisting in 
the establishment of a photocopier business center. 
Three members of  'Shakti Samuha' are undergoing skill 
training to handle the business efficiently.  Maiti Nepal 
and TAF are working for an effective scheme for job 
placement of returnees. World Education under the 
'Brighter Future Program' will have a component on 
occupational reintegration.  ILO/IPEC will provide 
proffessionalised training to the affected group for 
occupational reintegration. 
21.  Transit homes: ILO/IPEC has supported Maiti Nepal to 
establish transit homes in Kakarbhitta and Bhairahawa. 
UNIFEM has supported ABC Nepal to establish a transit 
home in Delhi. International Organization on Migration 
(IOM) has supported ABC Nepal and WOREC to establish 
transit homes in Kathmandu and Dhanusha.  Besides these 
organizations 'Karuna Bhawan' and 'Shanti Rehabilitation 
Center' also assist the returnees. 
22.  Budget 
Approximately US DOLS 112,000 has been obligated for the 
ongoing programs by USG funded UNIFEM program. 
23.  Proposed Activities 
Proposed protection activities (rescue/rehabilitation) 
are continuation of the sensitization program, operating 
the counseling program, and enhancing the capability of 
the rescued girls for meaningful employment through 
occupational training and job placement. Estimated cost 
for the proposed programs is US DOLS 350,000. 
24.  Indicators 
-    Innovative rehabilitation and reintegration 
strategies ready for replication 
-    More and higher counseling services available to 
trafficking survivors 
-    Increased employment options for trafficking 
25.  Program area: Prosecution 
Target audiences: The target audiences for prosecution 
are law enforcement agencies. 
Priority funded activities under prosecution are 
technical assistance and advocacy for adoption of a new 
anti-trafficking law, improved enforcement of legislation 
and creation of missing persons' components in the Nepal 
National Police information and criminal investigation 
system. The other activities are sharing information with 
destination country police, prosecutors' workshop on case 
management and successful prosecution, improvement of 
court procedures to protect victims. 
26.  Ongoing Activities 
Advocacy for Adoption of New Anti-Trafficking Law: TAF 
and UNIFEM/FWLD reviewed the existing anti-trafficking 
law, provided recommendations for amendment and advocated 
and lobbied for the passage of the new anti-trafficking 
law. The Lower House of Parliament passed the bill 
introduced by the MWCSW in the Twenty First Parliamentary 
27.  Improved Enforcement of Laws: UNICEF supports 
training for basic investigative and crime scene 
management techniques for prosecutors and judges, 
prosecutor's workshop on case management and successful 
prosecution, and improvement of court procedures to 
protect victims. UNIFEM supports initiatives to share 
information with destination country police. 
28.  Missing Person's Inventory: A missing person's 
inventory is being created by the Nepal National Police 
Information and Criminal Investigation system with UNICEF 
29.  Budget 
Approximately US DOLS 75,000 has been obligated for the 
ongoing activities by INL/UNIFEM. 
30.  Proposed Activities 
Proposed activities for effective pr 
osecution are 
training on new legislation for effective enforcement, 
establishment of improved court structures for protection 
of the victims and strengthening the capacity of women 
cells of police and training at border crossings. The 
estimated cost of approximately US DOLS 220,000 for the 
proposed programs has been provided by INL.  UNICEF has 
been contacted regarding implementation of the program. 
31.  Indicators 
-    Legal framework that better protects the rights of 
women and girls 
-    Increase in the number of traffickers arrested 
-    Increase in the number of traffickers convicted 
32.  Conclusion 
U.S. Government Agencies in Nepal are highly committed to 
the prevention of trafficking and protection of its 
victims. Comprehensive programs have been initiated to 
reduce vulnerability of women and children from being 
trafficked by raising awareness, increasing 
literacy/educational level and providing skill training 
for occupational reintegration. Counseling capacity has 
been improved through training and best rehabilitation 
practices are being replicated for the protection of 
victims. Legal bodies, Government task forces at 
different levels, and law enforcing agencies are being 
trained/oriented for proper enforcement of laws and 
policies and to take necessary actions against the 
traffickers. Similarly, existing laws and policies are 
being reviewed for necessary amendments. 
However, minimum coordination amongst supporting agencies 
and lack of unity among NGOs is an obstacle to achieving 
desired result. Lack of comprehensive baseline study is 
another hindrance to measuring the success of activities 
implemented. Other factors that provide a nurturing 
ground to trafficking of women and children in Nepal are 
weak law enforcement system and high level of corruption 
among law enforcement bodies. A lack of political will to 
place the issue in the national priority agenda, the open 
border with India and the need for a study regarding the 
demand (India) and supply (Nepal, Bangladesh) aspects of 
the problem are other dimensions to the issue. The 
holistic approach and programs supported by the USG in 
Nepal and the region are expected to address these gaps. 

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