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Almost a third human trafficking victims worldwide are children according to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons released in December 2016 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), around 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally, and of these, a significant number are also trafficking victims.

Nepal is one of the worst countries hit by trafficking. 12,000 Nepali children are thought to be trafficked within Nepal and across borders for commercial sex exploitation each year, with girls being the overwhelming majority. However, with many more children going undetected, these numbers are merely estimates. Children are trafficked from regions across Nepal. Many leave home with the promise of securing a job so that they can send money back to their families, while others are promised an education. Instead, many end up in extremely hazardous work, often within the adult entertainment sector where they are sexually abused and exploited. Studies suggest the number of children entering into the sex industry in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu is steadily increasing and that there is a rise in the number of boys being sexually exploited. The general levels of migration from Nepal to other countries also seems to be increasing since the devastating earthquake in 2015. Many children and young people often enter neighbouring countries without identity documents, leaving them at even higher risk of trafficking and exploitation. The impact on children who are sexually abused and exploited is devastating. They inevitably face negative consequences to their health and wellbeing alongside their emotional, psychological and social development.

To address these critical issues in Nepal, ChildHope has partnered with a local organisation called Shakti Samuha which is world’s first organisation run by the survivors of trafficking. Together, we have developed a multiyear project named CLAMP – Community Led Action Against Modern-Slavery and Poverty. CLAMP’s long-term goal is for community and government to lead concerted, sustained actions against trafficking which will better control and reduce the number of cases of trafficking in two high risk districts – Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot, and across Nepal. It will address the underlying causes for trafficking in the target district including: high school drop-out rates making children vulnerable to perpetrators who lure them with false promises; the poor economic situation of vulnerable families; poor community and government understanding of trafficking and no concerted efforts to tackle it at community level; stigma and poor facilities for rehabilitation and reintegration of survivors; lack of clear, strong policies and systems, and poor implementation of existing policies, against trafficking.

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