In 2015, an earthquake with a magnitude 7.8 hit Nepal. More than 8,800 lives were lost, thousands of people were injured, and over 800,000 buildings and monuments were left destroyed or damaged. A bit more than two weeks later, a second earthquake hit resulting in more destruction and casualties, and further crippling an already weakened and suffering population.
The earthquake resulted in thousands being left homeless and in poverty. Subsequently, Kathmandu became a hotspot for human trafficking.
Currently, 34% of the population live in poverty and 25.2% live below national poverty line (Human Development Index 2017).
A quarter of all Nepalese live below the poverty line (UN Human Development Index). Years of political instability had already restricted Nepal’s economic growth but the 2015 earthquake left millions without homes, livelihoods or schools and threw them into extreme poverty. The earthquake left many people vulnerable, particularly the poor. Nepal became a hotspot for human trafficking and modern slavery, human trafficking increased by 15% after the earthquake (Trafficking in Person Report 2013-15). Many women and girls who go missing go unreported and are never found.
In Nepal, 171,000 people live in modern slavery (Global Slavery Index 2018). Forced labour, bonded labour, sexual exploitation, forced or early marriage, and human trafficking are the most common forms of modern slavery in the Asia pacific region. It is estimated that 44% of Nepalis are vulnerable to modern day slavery (Global Slavery Index 2018).
People end up trapped in modern slavery mostly due to poverty and exclusion, or because of debt, lack of employment opportunities, or lack of legal status.
Our local partner, Shakti Samuha, is the world’s first organisation founded and run by survivors of trafficking and slavery. It is a Nepalese charity that supports female victims of human trafficking and works to ensure social justice for victims of human trafficking. It has more than twenty years’ experience and has been working in Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot since 2006. Shakti Samuha is the lead implementing partner, leading the community based part of this project.
Voice of Children works with children living and working on the street and families living in urban slums. It raises awareness of child abuse and provide legal, social and psychological support to children and their families. Voice of Children is the local technical partner on safeguarding and will be leading on child protection and safeguarding activities.
The Community Led Action against Modern slavery and Poverty project (CLAMP) supports the eradication of forced labour, and the ending of modern slavery and human trafficking. The aim of the project is to strengthen community and government mechanisms to tackle modern slavery and support victims of trafficking. Capacity building, empowerment, and child participation are essential parts of the strategy, leading to sustainable, long-term change.
The project focuses on 2 high-risk districts Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot. Both districts were severely impacted by the earthquakes. This is a new project but over the next three years we will be:
The project began in April 2018 and will run for 3 years.
Through consultation and surveys, we supported the community and Government in identifying their needs and issues with modern slavery. From this process, 4 strategic approaches were devised to address the problem.
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