Human trafficking has been one of the major social problems facing Nepal, with many people being trafficked to different countries for various purposes every year. Traffickers bait the vulnerable persons for making profits by engaging them in the forced labour and commercial sex. The poor and unemployed people who are hoping for a better life and have an unstable family life are more vulnerable to trafficking than others. The perpetrators are often found promising a high-paying job, a loving relationship, or new and exciting opportunities for those at high risk of being trafficked. Traffickers can be either lone individuals or part of extensive criminal networks. Their main motive is to exploit others for monetary gains. With strong networks worldwide, many traffickers seem to have been running their business uninterrupted despite the responsible authorities' constant efforts to deal with this scourge.
The uneducated and poor people are very susceptible to trafficking. The perpetrators may find it easy to swindle such persons by pledging better job and other career opportunities abroad. It needs no reiteration that a large number of uneducated girls and women from rural parts of Nepal have been trafficked to India, Malaysia and several countries in the Middle East. Such innocent persons have been forced into sex trade. Thus, they have been bound to lead a hellish life there. This is certainly a matter of disgrace for the nation. Even those who aspire to settle down in the developed countries like the United States and the United Kingdom seem to be easily falling prey to traffickers. Students are another potential lot to fall in the hands of such offenders. They are given a false promise of getting enrolled in good colleges or universities abroad with scholarships. What is quite worrying is that many young Nepalis are found stranded in different parts of the world every year.
Being a country of origin of the victims of trafficking, Nepal has taken this issue seriously. The Constitution of Nepal, 2015 also includes provisions for the prevention and control of this heinous crime against humanity. Nepal marks Bhadra 20 each year as the National Day against Human Trafficking and Smuggling. This shows that the country has remained quite committed to reigning in this problem. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said that all three tiers of the government were making their all-out efforts to prevent human trafficking which has developed as a blot on human civilisation itself. Prime Minister Deuba stated this in a message of best wishes given to a programme organised by the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens to observe the 15th National Day against Human Trafficking and Smuggling on Sunday. ‘Free Society, Our Commitment: Everyone’s Effort and Solidarity’ is this year’s slogan.
In Nepal, numerous campaigners have joined hands with the relevant government’s bodies to make the society free from the menace of human trafficking. They have been involved in raising public awareness against this malady and empower the vulnerable people socially and economically. This problem cannot be rooted out from our society without creating better job opportunities within the country and removing the loopholes from the existing laws. Vulnerable people should also be made aware and educated. A strong political willpower is equally essential to bring all the perpetrators of human trafficking to justice.