[Stop-traffic] Girl Traffickers Take Business Elsewhere

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] Girl Traffickers Take Business Elsewhere
From: Sumnima Tuladhar (cwininfo@mos.com.np)
Date: Tue Aug 22 2000 - 04:18:49 EDT


        Girl Traffickers Take Business Elsewhere
           By B. M. Dahal

           Each year, 5,000-7,000 women are believed to be trafficked to
India. And an estimated 200,000
           Nepalese commercial sex workers (CSWs), including minors, are
reported to be involved in the world’s
           oldest profession in various Indian brothels alone. But only
about 140 cases have been reported so far
           since very few victims file lawsuits against the traffickers.

           As many social organisations and government bodies have
launched campaigns against trafficking in
           women in the most affected districts like Sindhupalchowk,
Nuwakot, Makawanpur, traffickers seem to
           have started their activities for the lucrative yet
detestable trade in new areas adjoining the Indian border.

           "After the police and NGOs initiated the awareness and income
generating programmes in affected
           districts, traffickers have shifted their activities to other
districts, especially those bordering India," says
           Parbati Thapa, chief of Women Cell at the headquarters of
Nepal Police.

           At present, districts like Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari,
Bara, Parsa and Rautahat have also become
           the new hunting grounds for the women traffickers. At
present, it is said that traffickers are active in
           about 35 districts of the country. The rising number of
districts affected by the scourge indicates that
           the traffickers have found it a lucrative trade.

           Thapa said that with the development of new technology and
approaches to controlling girl trafficking,
           the traffickers have come up with newer means to continue
their business.

           In the past, Nepalese girls were taken to Bombay to be sold
to brothels. But now they are also being
           trafficked to many other Indian cities like Delhi, Calcutta,
Pune. Besides, they are also supplied to
           destinations like Hong Kong, Arabian countries, Thailand,
among others.

           Many victims or their relatives withdraw the cases even after
filing them due to pressure from the
           traffickers themselves.

           "This type of tendency often creates difficulties for
forwarding the cases for legal action against the
           traffickers and their accomplices," Thapa said.

           Women’s Cell, in coordination with UNICEF, has launched
awareness programmes in various districts of
           the country to control trafficking in girls and sexual
exploitation. The UNICEF-funded project has also
           components such as capacity building of the police officers
and developing database system to
           maintain records about the heinous crime.

           To fight trafficking in women, an advisory committee has been
formed at the central level. Committees
           have also been formed at the district and village levels in
order to check trafficking. The committees
           include local body representatives, local police officers and
the representatives of local NGOs.

           Poverty, illiteracy and unemployment are considered to be the
main causes the increasing number of
           women as well as the girl child being trafficking from Nepal.
Different forms of violence against women
           have also helped the traffickers in finding their prey.

           "When women are the victims of violence at homes and in the
society, the criminals can easily lure
           them. The property rights and social security can alone help
save the women from falling prey to the
           traffickers," she said.

           According to the prevalent law, traffickers are liable to a
maximum of 20 years of imprisonment. The
           legal provision is strong but most of the traffickers escape
the noose just because of the fact that they
           get political protection. Despite slogans of different
political parties to discourage women trafficking,
           they have not been able to implement that into practice
because traffickers are said to play an important
           role during elections.

           Rehabilitation of the victims is another major problem. Some
NGOs have set up rehabilitation centres for
           the returnees, especially those who have been infected with
HIV/AIDS. But this is not enough. There
           also exists the possibility of spreading HIV and AIDS to
others as most of the victims return home
           through the open border with India.

           Shanta Sapkota, chairman of Shanti Rehabilitation Centre,
informed that her NGO has already
           rehabilitated around 100 women. The figure incorporates both
the trafficked women and minors.

           "Now we have launched non-formal education and sewing
training for both the victims and those who are
           at risk of being trafficked. But our efforts alone will be
insufficient unless the health workers, police and
           other sections of the society change their attitude towards
the victims," Sapkota said.

           To fight girl trafficking, two networks that comprise several
NGOs have been working in the country.
           Their efforts have been helpful to some extent. However, they
have not been wholly successful in their
           mission as the traffickers are always a step ahead of them.

           Dr. Madhavi Singh, executive member and coordinator of
National Network Against Girl Trafficking
           (NNAGT), said programmes such as women empowerment, public
awareness, counseling can be
           instrumental in controlling the crime of girl trafficking.

           Dr. Singh also said that there should be bilateral talks
between Nepal and India and the issue of
           trafficking has to be taken as a national one to control the
crime. She said NNAGT has been running
           different training programmes to make women stand on their
feet and also increase awareness in them
           about the heinous crime.

           In the entire South Asian region, India is the major
destination of the trafficked women.

           Sandhya Shrestha, coordinator of another network—Alliance
Against Trafficking in Women in Nepal
           (AATWIN)—is of the opinion that the existing problem of girl
trafficking will not be solved unless the
           different political parties express commitment to extend
their helping hand to uproot it.

           Shrestha also said that a regional level court and its
branches have to be formed to look into the cases
           related to women trafficking.

           Considering girl trafficking as a regional problem, SAARC
Secretariat has prepared a SAARC draft
           convention on girl trafficking. But it has drawn criticism
from the NGOs and woman activists as it cannot
           ensure the rights of the victims.

           "The draft convention needs to be amended so as to safeguard
the rights of the countries of origin. The
           receiving countries have to give compensation and
rehabilitation facilities for the victims," she said.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
            Source: Sunday Despatch/20 August 2000

        Girl Traffickers Take Business Elsewhere
           By B. M. Dahal

           Each year, 5,000-7,000 women are believed to be trafficked to India. And an estimated 200,000
           Nepalese commercial sex workers (CSWs), including minors, are reported to be involved in the world’s
           oldest profession in various Indian brothels alone. But only about 140 cases have been reported so far
           since very few victims file lawsuits against the traffickers.

           As many social organisations and government bodies have launched campaigns against trafficking in
           women in the most affected districts like Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot, Makawanpur, traffickers seem to
           have started their activities for the lucrative yet detestable trade in new areas adjoining the Indian border.

           "After the police and NGOs initiated the awareness and income generating programmes in affected
           districts, traffickers have shifted their activities to other districts, especially those bordering India," says
           Parbati Thapa, chief of Women Cell at the headquarters of Nepal Police.

           At present, districts like Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari, Bara, Parsa and Rautahat have also become
           the new hunting grounds for the women traffickers. At present, it is said that traffickers are active in
           about 35 districts of the country. The rising number of districts affected by the scourge indicates that
           the traffickers have found it a lucrative trade.

           Thapa said that with the development of new technology and approaches to controlling girl trafficking,
           the traffickers have come up with newer means to continue their business.

           In the past, Nepalese girls were taken to Bombay to be sold to brothels. But now they are also being
           trafficked to many other Indian cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Pune. Besides, they are also supplied to
           destinations like Hong Kong, Arabian countries, Thailand, among others.

           Many victims or their relatives withdraw the cases even after filing them due to pressure from the
           traffickers themselves.

           "This type of tendency often creates difficulties for forwarding the cases for legal action against the
           traffickers and their accomplices," Thapa said.

           Women’s Cell, in coordination with UNICEF, has launched awareness programmes in various districts of
           the country to control trafficking in girls and sexual exploitation. The UNICEF-funded project has also
           components such as capacity building of the police officers and developing database system to
           maintain records about the heinous crime.

           To fight trafficking in women, an advisory committee has been formed at the central level. Committees
           have also been formed at the district and village levels in order to check trafficking. The committees
           include local body representatives, local police officers and the representatives of local NGOs.

           Poverty, illiteracy and unemployment are considered to be the main causes the increasing number of
           women as well as the girl child being trafficking from Nepal. Different forms of violence against women
           have also helped the traffickers in finding their prey.

           "When women are the victims of violence at homes and in the society, the criminals can easily lure
           them. The property rights and social security can alone help save the women from falling prey to the
           traffickers," she said.

           According to the prevalent law, traffickers are liable to a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment. The
           legal provision is strong but most of the traffickers escape the noose just because of the fact that they
           get political protection. Despite slogans of different political parties to discourage women trafficking,
           they have not been able to implement that into practice because traffickers are said to play an important
           role during elections.

           Rehabilitation of the victims is another major problem. Some NGOs have set up rehabilitation centres for
           the returnees, especially those who have been infected with HIV/AIDS. But this is not enough. There
           also exists the possibility of spreading HIV and AIDS to others as most of the victims return home
           through the open border with India.

           Shanta Sapkota, chairman of Shanti Rehabilitation Centre, informed that her NGO has already
           rehabilitated around 100 women. The figure incorporates both the trafficked women and minors.

           "Now we have launched non-formal education and sewing training for both the victims and those who are
           at risk of being trafficked. But our efforts alone will be insufficient unless the health workers, police and
           other sections of the society change their attitude towards the victims," Sapkota said.

           To fight girl trafficking, two networks that comprise several NGOs have been working in the country.
           Their efforts have been helpful to some extent. However, they have not been wholly successful in their
           mission as the traffickers are always a step ahead of them.

           Dr. Madhavi Singh, executive member and coordinator of National Network Against Girl Trafficking
           (NNAGT), said programmes such as women empowerment, public awareness, counseling can be
           instrumental in controlling the crime of girl trafficking.

           Dr. Singh also said that there should be bilateral talks between Nepal and India and the issue of
           trafficking has to be taken as a national one to control the crime. She said NNAGT has been running
           different training programmes to make women stand on their feet and also increase awareness in them
           about the heinous crime.

           In the entire South Asian region, India is the major destination of the trafficked women.

           Sandhya Shrestha, coordinator of another network—Alliance Against Trafficking in Women in Nepal
           (AATWIN)—is of the opinion that the existing problem of girl trafficking will not be solved unless the
           different political parties express commitment to extend their helping hand to uproot it.

           Shrestha also said that a regional level court and its branches have to be formed to look into the cases
           related to women trafficking.

           Considering girl trafficking as a regional problem, SAARC Secretariat has prepared a SAARC draft
           convention on girl trafficking. But it has drawn criticism from the NGOs and woman activists as it cannot
           ensure the rights of the victims.

           "The draft convention needs to be amended so as to safeguard the rights of the countries of origin. The
           receiving countries have to give compensation and rehabilitation facilities for the victims," she said.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
            Source: Sunday Despatch/20 August 2000 _______________________________________________ Stop-traffic mailing list Stop-traffic@friends-partners.org http://fpmail.friends-partners.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/stop-traffic


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