Ministry working to amend Act

  • fighting human trafficking
- Post Report, Kathmandu
The Act which came into effect in 2007 does not acknowledge trafficking can take place inside the country

Sep 26, 2016-The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) is working to amend the Human Trafficking and Transport (control) Act in line with the changing  context and forms of human trafficking in the country. 

The proposed amendment seeks to broaden the narrow definition of trafficking, make rescue mechanism effective, provide more leverage to government agencies near boarder areas to help rescue efforts and make some of the words in the Act gender-friendly. 

“As per the existing Act, Nepali citizens are trafficked only in India,” said Sunita Nepal, joint secretary at the ministry. “But it has been proved that people from Nepal are being trafficked all over the world. We are trying to amend the Act to facilitate justice delivery to trafficking survivors.”  Following an initial discussion, the MoWCSW is now collecting feedback from different line ministries, she explained. 

The Act which came into effect in 2007 does not acknowledge trafficking can take place inside the country. Various reports, like the Trafficking in Person Report, have already established that Nepal is not just a country of origin, but also a country of transit and destination for human trafficking. 

Forcefully transporting a person from one place to another especially for sex trade are the major criteria for establishing a person has been trafficked as per the Act. 

However, people are being trafficked in the name of foreign employment, marriage and for human organs, among other things. The proposed amendment in the Act will incorporate these emerging issues. According to Joint Secretary Nepal, the government agencies in the border areas will have to be provided more authority to expedite rescue efforts. “So far, they have been spending a lot of time getting approval from the district headquarters and the centre to carry out the rescue work.” 

Lack of clarity in the existing law means loss of crucial time in coordination among different line ministries to rescue.   “Human trafficking is expanding and traffickers are luring people with lucrative job prospects. Human Trafficking and Transport Act and Foreign Employment Act should be amended simultaneously,” said Uma Tamang, legal advisor of Maiti Nepal, an organisation working on human trafficking.  

Published: 26-09-2016 08:38

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