Human Trafficking has truly become a global threat to vulnerable women, children and men worldwide. It is an injustice that affects millions of people every year on every continent and at all socioeconomic levels. Trafficking is a highly-organised and lucrative business, generating 150 billion US dollars per year, 99 billion of which is generated by sex trafficking within the prostitution industry. The latest global estimate according to the International Labour Organisation (the United Nations agency that deals with global labour issues), calculates that nearly 21 million people are victims of human trafficking worldwide. Roughly 4.5 million of those victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation. The most significant number of victims are said to come from Asia and the Pacific region.
Nepal is one such country in Asia which is worst affected by modern day slavery. Women and children are trafficked not only for sexual exploitation and forced labour, but as surrogacy mothers, for breastfeeding and organ transplantation. Nepal is a developing country and lacks employment opportunities. A lot of young people migrate overseas, especially to India and United Arab Emirates for foreign employment due to Nepal’s poor economic condition, which was intensified by a devastating earthquake in 2015. Many people became shelter less and were forced to leave the country or to migrate within the country to find jobs to meet their basic needs.
In two high risk districts of Nepal, ChildHope is working with Shakti Samuha an organisation run by trafficking survivors. It is a community Led project to take action against Modern-Slavery and Poverty and has the support of UK government (DFID) to help tackle these issues. The project began in April 2018 with a focus on:
- Prevention through education or Livelihoods – Re-enrolling school children who were forced to leave the school due to earthquake or forced labour. Providing livelihoods skill development training to adolescents and young adults who don’t want to go back to education but want to earn a dignified living.
- Community based Protection – Establishing and strengthening local committees to protect children and combat human trafficking, with the support of local government, police and leaders.
- Preparation for reintegration – Prepare survivors in a rehabilitation centre to reintegrate with their family and community, though various therapies, counselling and skills training.
- Policy and capacity Development – lobbying and working closely with local government officials to implement relevant policies which address the issues around modern-day slavery and build their capacity where necessary. 180 youth volunteers are lobbying with the local government and spreading awareness in their respective community to combat human trafficking.
Like every year, in 2018 Shakti Samuha will observe World Day Against Human Trafficking on July 30th by organising different program such as street drama, rallies and seminars.