USAID’s Combating Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) project supports the prevention of trafficking, the protection of victims, and the prosecution of human traffickers in partnership with the Nepali Government.
Trafficking in persons (TIP) is a serious problem in Nepal, characterized by cross-border, international, and internal trafficking of women, men, and children. Although trafficking of women and children—specifically to India—for sexual exploitation still exists, various emerging trends of human trafficking are a growing concern in Nepal. These include cases of organ trafficking, internal trafficking, fake foreign marriages, and international labor trafficking.
The Government of Nepal (GON) took an important step toward addressing this abuse of human rights by passing the Human Trafficking and Transportation Control Act of 2007 (TIP Act), which establishes a comprehensive legal framework to combat TIP. In the last few years, the GON has taken the initiative to be at the forefront in addressing trafficking, working across ministries to address TIP. CTIP has supported these efforts. Nepal’s April 25, 2015 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks caused widespread damage, exposing communities to a series of adverse conditions that increase the vulnerability of women and marginalized groups to human trafficking and exploitation. To address these needs, in June 2015, USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance provided additional funding to expand CTIP’s activities to six additional earthquake-affected districts. The interventions focus on increased awareness of TIP and gender-based violence (GBV), promotion and creation of economic and livelihood opportunities, provision of legal support, rehabilitation through psychosocial support, and increased access to rehabilitation services and resources available from the Nepali government.
The $9.1 million CTIP project works closely with the government and civil society to address human trafficking and promote safe labor migration. The project aims to advance the prevention, protection, and prosecution of human trafficking in Nepal, while also promoting a higher level of coordination and institutional capacity building across a broad range of government and civil society stakeholders. CTIP specifically works to:
- Strengthen protection services for TIP survivors
- Build capacity of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to promote victim-centric jurisprudence in the application of laws for increased prosecution
- Prevent trafficking by building awareness among groups that are vulnerable to various forms of human trafficking
- Support the government to create policies and guidelines that promote the rights of survivors
- Mainstream the understanding and application of the ‘personhood approach’ to psychosocial well- being in the formal health care system
- Mitigate protection risks and vulnerabilities exacerbated by disaster through community based psychosocial support
- Facilitate formalization and institutionalization of local level government bodies designated to address TIP
- Address policy and structural reforms for effective CTIP implementation through the capacity building of key government line agencies
- Provide economic and preventive support to build resilient communities
- Advocate for improved responses from the GON and other service providers to the affected communities
PREVENTION - CTIP builds linkages and collaboration between local government and civil society networks to effectively prevent TIP, with a focus on the changing trends in trafficking. In building sustainability and increasing ownership, CTIP created Safe Migration Networks. These groups integrate into the local Village Committees to Control Human Trafficking, which lead efforts to promote safe migration at the village level. All CTIP preventions aim to: a) strengthen local government institutions and processes related to TIP prevention; b) mobilize local government line agencies, civil society, and schools to implement prevention activities; c) provide support services to TIP and gender-based violence (GBV) victims; d) ensure greater participation of marginalized and vulnerable populations in agencies addressing TIP and GBV; and e) provide viable livelihood options to survivors of TIP and those vulnerable to trafficking. For post-quake districts’ most vulnerable social groups, CTIP extends livelihood activities to mitigate the increased risk of trafficking and GBV due to loss of access to income and food security.
PROTECTION – CTIP focuses on developing a comprehensive rehabilitative process for survivors of human trafficking and GBV. This includes: a) supporting the mental health well-being of survivors of TIP and GBV; b) creating greater community awareness to identify and address emerging forms of human trafficking; and c) building the capacity of law enforcement officials to understand and apply rights-based and victim-friendly principles in the prosecution process. In post-quake districts, CTIP aims to insure equitable access to services and resources in affected communities.
PROSECUTION - CTIP builds the capacity of law enforcement officials for to effectively prosecute TIP cases by training officials on investigation and forensics, as well as victim centric- approaches, allowing for increased protection and effective justice delivery. CTIP also trains judicial officials to apply and enforce the TIP Act. CTIP’s prosecution interventions have focused thus far on two aspects: a) strengthening the judicial system to be victim-centric; and b) addressing justice delivery in the context of the victim and perpetrator’s social, cultural, and economic circumstances. CTIP also works to improve reporting and prosecution of new forms of trafficking (including organ and labor trafficking), in an effort to expand the TIP legal framework.
- Organized 996 public awareness campaigns on TIP; trained 1,0461 people on safe migration and effective prevention of TIP; and oriented 71,521 people on TIP issues.
- Increased skills and capacity of government service providers, with 888 criminal justice system personnel trained on CTIP issues and victim protection procedures.
- Institutionalized local-level government anti-trafficking groups through the formation of 183 active Village Committees to Control Human Trafficking in six districts.
- Built the capacity of 15 shelter homes to provide legal and psychosocial services.
- Assisted 571 TIP victims with psychosocial and legal counselling/referrals for other services.
- Helped support 59 convictions made against TIP perpetrators, including landmark convictions for organ trafficking and consecutive sentencing, as well as court verdicts for compensation for TIP survivors.
- Contributed to the creation of 6 anti-TIP policies, the Guidelines on the Formation and Regulation of Village Committees to Control Human Trafficking, and provided support in developing the implementation plan for the National Plan of Action against TIP.
- Contributed to two National Reports on Anti-Human Trafficking Initiatives led by the GON.
- Provided immediate psychological support to over 300 people to date in four earthquake-affected districts. Released an awareness leaflet on safeguarding oneself and family from potential threats, post-earthquake.
Read More: Combating Trafficking in Persons Project - Factsheet [PDF]
Last updated: July 30, 2015