KATHAMNDU, Oct 2: Admitting that ineffective government mechanisms for implementing national and international commitments against human trafficking have been hindering its prevention, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Tuesday publicly announced that 2013 would be declared as the year against human trafficking. At the same time he also stressed the urgency to bring about aggressive economic revolution so as to permanently solve the issue of human trafficking, among other problems.
“Trafficking is a result of the poor political and economic situation of the country. All of us need to identify the elements that are bent on prolonging the transition and should unitedly fight such elements for peace and stability,” he said speaking at a function in the capital. “Nonetheless, we should do whatever we can and I am very positive about declaring the coming year as anti-trafficking year and establishing an effective mechanism to fight human trafficking holisticallly,” he added.
Meanwhile, Anuradha Koirala of Maiti Nepal stated that the trafficking of minor girls, which has become more common over the years, has been possible due to the involvement of the government officials at the local levels who issue citizenship certificates to girls overstating their age. “Many a time we have intercepted such girls from the airport. A girl of 14 is provided machine-readable passport with her age marked as 24. Can this be possible without involvement of the officials? Why is action not being taken against such staffers?” she questioned.
At the function jointly organized by Forum for Women, Law and Development and Sacharika Samuha, Bhattarai was handed over a memorandum with signatures collected on the Anti-Trafficking Day [Bhadra 20].
It is estimated that around 20,000 girls from the poorest parts of Nepal are trafficked to India and Gulf countries each year.