The Asia Foundation Co-Hosts Meeting to Address Trafficking in Persons in Nepal
Program Year: 2024
The Asia Foundation, in collaboration with implementing partner Forum for Women, Law, and Development (FWLD), organized an interaction and discussion meeting in Bhadrapur, Jhapa. The session engaged local-level government officials and elected bodies to discuss the need for a victim rehabilitation fund and center for countering trafficking in persons (TIP). Attendees included the Australian Ambassador to Nepal, Felicity Volk, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Chandragadhi Municipality, and Government officers from the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law. Representatives from the District Police Office, District Bar Association, media professionals, civil society organizations, and the private sector were also included in the meeting.
As a strong advocate for Australian Aid’s position on local community education and policymaking around TIP, HE Felicity Volk commended FWLD and the municipalities’ coordination for forming strong legislation. While emphasizing emerging challenges, including marriage scams, family disownment, and infrastructure development, she also expressed hope for a robust legislative framework through our partnership with local governments. Together with the National Human Rights Commission, we are working to align Nepal’s TIP legislation with the Palermo Protocol, aiming to prevent, suppress, and punish human trafficking.
Ms. Jiwankala Raut, the head of the Department of Social Development, shared the municipality’s work on forming local-level laws and emphasized the Foundation and FWLD’s critical technical support. Mayor Ganesh Pokhrael of Bhadrapur municipality acknowledged the event’s timeliness in informing the local level government about the relevant articles of the Palermo Protocol amidst a rapid increase in migration and infrastructure development linking Nepal and India’s borders. Mayor Ganesh Pokhrael also thanked The Asia Foundation and FWLD for convening local-level representatives to discuss the important issue of rehabilitation centers, funding, and legislative protection for survivors of TIP.
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