[ Human Trafficking, Country-by-Country ]

NEPAL (Tier 2) Extracted from the U.S. State Dept 2020 TIP Report

The Government of Nepal does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore Nepal remained on Tier 2. These efforts included investigating multiple government officials for complicity in human trafficking, identifying and removing more children, including trafficking victims, from exploitative care homes, and funding repatriation for more Nepali trafficking victims overseas. The government continued to stand up its law enforcement unit dedicated to human trafficking—the Anti-Trafficking-in-Persons Bureau (Anti-TIP Bureau)—and parliament voted to accede to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The government’s laws do not criminalize all forms of labor trafficking and sex trafficking, and officials’ identification of, and protection for, male trafficking victims and transnational labor trafficking victims remained severely inadequate compared to the size of the problem. Official complicity in trafficking offenses remained a serious problem, both direct complicity and negligence, and the government did not report investigations into several documented allegations. In addition, some police continued to arrest, detain, and fine adult and child sex trafficking victims identified in the adult entertainment sector (AES). Furthermore, officials continued to encourage migrant workers exploited abroad to register cases under the 2007 Foreign Employment Act (2007 FEA), which criminalized fraudulent recruitment, rather than refer cases to police for criminal investigation of labor trafficking.

Prioritized Recommendations

Investigate allegations of official complicity in trafficking crimes and hold perpetrators criminally accountable.Amend the Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act (HTTCA) to criminalize all forms of sex trafficking and labor trafficking, in line with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.Finalize and train front-line responders on standard operating procedures (SOPs) to identify and refer trafficking victims to services, especially male labor trafficking victims and females in commercial sex.Establish SOPs for law enforcement to investigate human trafficking cases, including referrals between agencies.Increase investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of all trafficking offenses, including criminal investigations into labor recruiters and sub-agents for labor trafficking.Expand access to and availability of victim care, including shelter and repatriation, for all victims, especially males and workers exploited overseas.Increase staff, training, and resources to the Department of Foreign Employment (DFE) to facilitate full implementation and monitoring of the low-cost recruitment policy.Implement the victim-witness protection provisions of the HTTCA.Significantly increase monitoring of children’s homes and orphanages and hold accountable those that do not meet the government’s minimum standards of care. Authorize labor inspectors to monitor AES establishments for labor violations.Remove the HTTCA provision that allows the judiciary to fine victims if they fail to appear in court and hold them criminally liable for providing contradictory testimony.Lift current bans on female migration and engage destination country governments to create rights-based, enforceable agreements that protect Nepali workers from human trafficking.Provide documentation to Haruwa-Charuwa communities and internationally recognized refugees and asylum-seekers to allow them to work, attend school, and access social services.