World Day Against Trafficking In Persons

Angur Baba Joshi 


Among many grave global problems plaguing the world today, trafficking in persons is one of the worst. It hits all the very basic worth and rights of human beings.

It is perfectly natural for the people to yearn for better, safer and more dignified future. Unfortunately, there are cruel criminals who exploit this yearning by trafficking children, women and men for forced labour or sexual slavery. They consider them to be things as any other articles to be sold for profit. It is very sad that this crime, instead of being controlled, seems to be growing every passing year. Although the exact number is not known, it is estimated that there are millions of trafficking in person victims across the world.

In 2010 the UN General Assembly adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. It urges the governments world-wide to take coordinated and consistent actions to defeat this crime across the borders. Such actions have to be integrated with UN’s other broader programmes to “boost development and strengthen security”. The UN has also established a UN Voluntary Trust Fund for the victims of trafficking, especially women and children.

The UN has also adopted a Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons which defines trafficking in person for various reasons including “at a minimum the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, services or the removal of organs”.

The International Labour Organization estimates that about 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally including victims of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation. At times it is heard that small boys are also trafficked for being jockeys in camel race in the middle-east. No country in the world seems to be exempt from trafficking of persons either as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. There seems to be a link between the refugees and migration crisis also.

Looking at the global magnitude of the problem, the UN in 2013 adopted a resolution (A/ES/68/192) designating July 30 as World Day Against Trafficking of Persons “to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights”. Past Secretary General of the UN Ban ki-Moon has rightly said that the “Human traffickers pray on the most desperate and vulnerable”. To end this inhuman practice much more needs to be done “to shield migrants and refugees - particularly young people - women and children from those who exploit their yearning for a better…….future”.

Human trafficking is one of the worst problems also in Nepal. Considering the seriousness of the problem the government has formulated National Policy and set up units at district levels also as District Level Coordination Communities under the direction of the CDOs. The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare is directly responsible to handle this problem.

There are many NGOs/INGOs who are also working to fight against this crime. ABC Nepal under the competent leadership of the prominent social worker and woman activist Durga Ghimire, who was also awarded by SPROMMA Foundation of Norway, picked up this issue as early as 1988 and has rescued and rehabilitated numerous women and girls and some boys as well.

Maiti Nepal, under the leadership of another renowned social worker, woman activist and CNN Hero Anuradha Koirala, is also performing appreciable work in this field. It is dedicated to prevent, rescue and rehabilitate the trafficked persons and to create awareness internationally against their problem. It has filed many cases in the court against the criminals and has got about 1,900 of them punished for their crimes. Maiti Nepal with its branches in 36 districts has placed 175 border guards as well to protect the potential victims.

In short, trafficking in persons is one of the worst crimes against human beings. It is very painful that in the overall development-oriented 21st country, the human being, the crown of creation, is becoming the victim of this crime. This is one of the worst forms of violation of human rights. Millions today are suffering this scourge mainly in the developing countries.

It seems that the global community has to be more active in preventing and combating this heinous crime against humanity.

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