NEPAL - Nepalgunj Border Monitoring Station

Raising funds and awareness to prevent human trafficking

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HOPE has worked in Nepal for over 20 years now, with children at risk being the heart of what motivates us to serve. We have worked in a variety of contexts and more recently, since the earthquake of 2015, we have engaged in helping communities rebuild from the damage.

Since the earthquake, there has been a dramatic increase in the trafficking of young girls. We could not turn a blind eye to this and sought an agent who would work with us to help tackle the issue. HOPE has established a joint effort with Love Justice International to support the prevention of trafficking at one high risk border crossing in Nepalgunj.  

Nepalgunj is a city in the southwest part of Nepal, lying right next to the Indian border. With a population base of approximately 75,000 inhabitants, Nepalgunj has fully operational bus and mini­bus services that reach almost all parts of the western region, as well as most parts of the eastern region, including all the major hubs in the country. The country's longest highway,­ Mahendra, runs through the town of Kohalpur located 10 kilometers from the city center. It is this highway that allows traffickers to transport young girls from Nepal into India with little or no resistance from the Nepali government or police. In other words, Nepalgunj is a natural hub for human trafficking.

Love Justice staff are trained on how to identify potential trafficking victims in a variety of different ways. If their efforts convince the police that the girl is being trafficked, the trafficker will be arrested and the girl will be kept at our safe house until she is able to return to her family. In addition to having physical needs met at the safe house, girls are educated on the issue of trafficking and how to prevent it from happening again.

Since 2010 there have been several hundred girls who have been intercepted through the efforts of this border monitoring station. On average, the station will intercept between 6 and 8 girls a month. Last year the Nepalgunj station recorded 71 interceptions. The station has also been active in bringing justice to bear down on those who are trafficking these young girls. With the help of the Nepalgunj station staff, we have seen 10 trafficking cases filed with the courts, out of the 26 total cases in all of Nepal.

 

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Project Updates

  • Two young girls intercepted: Bimala, 17, and Shusila, 24, from the Shantinagar, Dang, district met a man named Lok. He was 32 years old and from the same district as the young girls. He promised them well-paying jobs abroad and was able to convince their families to allow them to go. He also told them he would be paying for all of their travel expenses. He brought the girls to Nepalgunj from Dang where they were all stopped by our Love Justice staff while trying to cross the border. The girls had been told that they were going to fly abroad via the airport in Delhi; however, they did not know what their final destination would be. While our staff was questioning them, the suspected trafficker ran away. Although a legal case couldn't be filed at the time due to a lack of substantial information, the families of the girls were contacted, and the girls returned back to their homes safely.


    A false promise of marriage: Twenty-year-old Kamala was from the Accham district and was working as a domestic helper when she met a 27-year-old man named Ramesh from the district of Kalikot. Ramesh told Kamala that he wanted to marry her, offering her a better life. She readily accepted, having no apparent reason to distrust him, and she agreed to elope with him to India. He told her that he had a house there, so she believed he was taking her to his home in order to be married.The couple was attempting to cross the border for the first time when they were stopped by our staff. During questioning, our staff discovered that Ramesh was already married. At that point, Kamala began to realize that he had lied to her about who he was and what his intentions were. Our staff counseled her about the dangers of trafficking, and then she returned back to her own home and family. A public case was filed against Ramesh.

  • Hope For The Nations believes the best way to address the immense challenges facing children-at-risk is through working with Agents all around the world.

     

    Love Justice International is one such agent. Love Justice is combating the growing issue of child trafficking in Nepal and the surrounding region. Love Justice focuses on training staff to intercept people who are suspected of being trafficked while still in transit. Since their border-monitoring program began in Nepalgunj, over 13,000 people have been rescued from unthinkable situations, before they happened. HOPE is committed to raising $10,000 for this Love Justice project.

     

    “What can I do? What more can be done?” If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, you’re not alone. Author Linda Grace Smith came back to the refrain again and again: “As long as there’s one . . . there’s one too many.” From that emerged a children’s picture book, One Too Many, which invites age-appropriate discussion and action around social justice issues that affect children. Adults often wonder how to introduce the difficult topics of inhumanity and injustice to children. Parents, educators, and advocates have found a timely balance of simplicity and complexity in One Too Many.

     

    Peppermint Toast Publishing, publisher of One Too Many, will donate $5 from the sale of each copy of this book towards Love Justice through Hope’s fundraising project. Enter the coupon code: LOVE JUSTICE when purchasing the book, and know that you are participating in ending human trafficking. Then share the story with children in your life to turn the next generation into children of change.

     

    Visit www.pepperminttoast.com to purchase copies of the book.

  • Love Justice staff at Nepalgunj intercepted a 22-year-old woman named Binita* who was traveling by herself. In this case the attention of our staff was initially drawn to Binita because she looked young. Our staff are familiar with the local culture and norms and they are able to notice when someone’s appearance seems suspicious or out of place.

    When she was questioned by our border staff, BInita said that she was on her way to a country in the Persian Gulf in order to do some shopping. Since the government of Nepal has made it illegal for Nepalis to travel to a Gulf country by any means other than Kathmandu International Airport, our staff immediately knew that Binita was either being trafficked or at high risk of being trafficked or exploited upon her arrival. This law was created in an attempt to reduce exploitation of Nepalis overseas by giving the government more oversight, but due to the open border it seems to have increased the number of people migrating through India without basic legal protections.

    Binita returned home and a staff member followed up with her to see how she was doing. Binita was intercepted as a result of your support. Thank you for your part in helping to prevent Binita and others from being trafficked.

    2017 saw 68 interceptions at Nepalgunj Station. There are currently 10 active cases against human traffickers that were initiated by this station.

    *The name in this story has been changed

  • We’re very excited to introduce a new agent with Hope for the Nations: Love Justice International. Working in Nepal, Love Justice combats the growing issue of child trafficking throughout the region. “An estimated 30,000 people are trafficked into India from Nepal and Bangladesh every year - with the average age being 15.”

    Girls in particular are often drawn away with the promise of money and/or marriage but are then abused, sold, tortured, imprisoned, along with numerous other atrocities. Love Justice is combatting this issue on three fronts (an excerpt from lovejustice.ngo):

     

    Data Collection and Analysis - Every week we encounter dozens of trafficking cases.  By interviewing intercepted victims in these cases, we are able to gather a huge amount of up-to-date information about trafficking to be used in prosecutions and investigations.

     

    Prosecutions - We believe that the prosecution of traffickers is one of the most important ways to fight trafficking. We assist trafficking victims in prosecuting their traffickers.
     

    Intelligence-Led Investigations - We develop actionable and timely intelligence from which a specific trafficking target can been identified.

     

    The other side of Love Justice International is ‘Children’s Ministry’; through which they are currently operating several homes in South Asia where children are cared for, educated, and given a place to call home.

    HOPE is excited to be working with Love Justice on new projects to help further continue their work in Asia to the benefit of children at risk. 

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