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04KATHMANDU379 2004-03-01 09:17:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

NEPAL: FOURTH ANNUAL ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

Tags:   KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB NP 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 KATHMANDU 000379 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI, SA/RA, SA/INS
STATE ALSO PLEASE PASS USAID
LONDON FOR POL/GURNEY, NSC FOR MILLARD

E.O 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB NP
SUBJECT: NEPAL: FOURTH ANNUAL ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
(TIP) REPORT

REF: SECSTATE 7869



1. (U) Following is Post's submission for the fourth annual
Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Embassy point of
contact for the report is Political Officer Crystal Kaplan
(tel: 977-1-441-1179, fax: 977-1-441-0723, e-mail:
kaplanct2@state.gov).



2. (SBU) OVERVIEW

-- A. Nepal is a country of origin for international
trafficking of women and children. Some trafficking also
occurs within the country. The majority of those trafficked
are poor, undereducated young women, though trafficking in
boys also has been reported. Girls as young as nine years
old have been trafficked.

The magnitude of the problem remains difficult to measure,
as reliable data are not available. The most widely quoted
NGO statistics state that 5,000 to 7,000 girls are
trafficked to India for prostitution each year, but these
figures are extrapolated, based on a number of assumptions,
and do not take into account any victims who are trafficked
for purposes other than prostitution. The GON does not keep
official statistics on the number of victims trafficked.

An ILO-IPEC Rapid Assessment Survey (2002) on Trafficking in
Girls with Special Emphasis on Prostitution estimated that
12,000 girls are trafficked every year. The study targeted
populations including "at-risk" girls, girls who had been
trafficked within Nepal, and those who had returned from
India. Though trafficking is prevalent in many castes and
ethnic groups, the ILO assessment concluded that those most
at risk are members of lower castes and ethnic groups
traditionally resident in Nepal's hilly regions. Similarly
an analysis done in 2003 by the Women's Police Cell of cases
reported in the past seven years (1997 through 2003) has
substantiated this finding.

Discrimination based on caste and ethnicity, though illegal
in Nepal, is imbedded in economic and social structures.
Gender-based discrimination is widespread, deeply rooted in
tradition and sometimes supported by law. Women and girls
from lower castes or "hill" ethnic groups therefore can be
subject to double or triple marginalization, increasing
their vulnerability to exploitative practices such as
trafficking.

Additionally, the ongoing Maoist insurgency has disrupted
government control in many of the country's remote areas.
Absence of law enforcement, economic insecurity, political
instability and physical danger as a result of the armed
conflict have displaced thousands of women and children from
the poorest sectors of society. Threats of abduction by the
Maoists have compelled large numbers of children to leave
their homes to avoid forced conscription. Death of one or
both parents has lowered an already poor standard of living
for many children, forcing them to work outside the home or
fend for themselves on the street. NGOs report that
trafficking is on the rise in these vulnerable populations,
although the insurgency has caused a decrease in reporting
of trafficking cases. Decreased reporting can be attributed
to the withdrawal of police posts from most rural areas,
increasing the difficulty of accessing and reporting cases
of trafficking to law enforcement officials. According to
the Nepal Police, the numbers of reported cases has
decreased from 98 cases in 2000/01 to 48 cases in 2001/02
and 72 cases in 2002/2003. (Reporting periods are based on
the Nepali calendar which runs roughly from April to April.)



B. The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare
(MWCSW) has identified 26 high-priority districts for anti-
trafficking interventions, most of which are in Nepal's
hilly, undeveloped regions. Most trafficking victims
originate in these high-priority districts. Women and
children who have migrated to Kathmandu and other urban
areas to find work also reportedly have been trafficked.
These internally-displaced women and children are more
vulnerable to trafficking, but also are absorbed into
Nepal's exploitative labor market, including for commercial
sex work in night clubs, dance restaurants and massage
parlors.

Nepali trafficking victims are most often taken overland to
India for work in that country's sex industry and for bonded
labor. Some victims are also trafficked to Hong Kong, Saudi
Arabia and other countries in the Middle East. The
complicated nexus between migration and trafficking needs to
be explored more intensively as girls and women in the
process of labor migration reportedly are targeted and
diverted into illegal trafficking.

-- C. No significant changes in the direction or extent of
trafficking have been reported in the last year, although
press reports in 2003 indicate that children may be
trafficked for work in Indian circuses. Additionally, both
children and adult victims of trafficking may be subjected
to organ removal for transplants. Collaborative efforts
among NGOs in India and Nepal have been successful in the
rescue and repatriation of more Nepali girls this year.

-- D. Nepal's Institute for Integrated Development Studies
(IIDS) conducted a study entitled "Status and Dimension of
Trafficking Within Nepal" with UNIFEM support under the
South Asian Regional Initiative for Gender Equity (SARI/Q)
program that will be disseminated in 2004. Other relevant
studies conducted in 2003 include: An Analysis of Laws and
Policies on Labor Migration and Trafficking (Center for
Legal Research and Development and The Asia Foundation);
Safe Migration: Foreign Employment for Women: Opportunities
and Challenges - Collection of Articles (UNIFEM); Best
Practices on Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Trafficked
Women and Girls (Joint Initiative on Trafficking (JIT) and
Sahara Group); Effectiveness of Existing Laws and Policies,
Services and Issues of Nepali Migrant Workers
(GON/UNIFEM/SAMANATA); and Effectiveness of Existing laws
and institutional mechanisms to Combat Trafficking in Women
in Nepal (UNIFEM/Forum for Women's Legal Development
(FWLD)/SARI/Q).

-- E. Not applicable. Nepal is not a destination country
for trafficking in persons.

-- F. Government officials, police and NGOs suspect that
organized criminal groups and "marriage brokers" are the
main traffickers in Nepal. Though most are Nepali, they
have links with brothels in Mumbai and other cities in
India. The traffickers typically target high-vulnerability
groups like those listed in para A. NGOs have found that
once prevention programs are instituted in a district,
traffickers move on to other locations.

In general, the main factors contributing to trafficking in
women and girls from Nepal are poverty, lack of alternative
employment opportunities, illiteracy, ignorance about the
dangers of prostitution, family disharmony, domestic
violence, gender discrimination and desire for better life.
Contributing to the young age of trafficked girls is a
prevailing myth that sexually transmitted diseases,
including HIV/AIDS, can be cured through sexual intercourse
with a virgin girl. Contributing factors to the smaller
phenomenon of trafficking of boys for exploitative labor
include poverty and lack of alternative employment
opportunities, as well as a traditional pattern of male
migration for employment. Weak legislation and lack of
effective law enforcement mechanisms also contribute to
Nepal's trafficking problem.

NGOs estimate that approximately half of victims are lured
to India with the promise of a good job and/or marriage, but
many others are sold by family members. A small number are
kidnapped. No firm numbers are available. Lack of
awareness regarding safe migration and options for
alternative jobs often leads legitimate migrants to become
vulnerable to trafficking.

Nepal and India have an open border. Traffickers typically
move their victims overland on secondary roads or via public
transportation. Similarly, illegal migration to third
countries in the Middle East takes place through India and
Bangladesh by air routes.

-- G. Anti-trafficking in persons is not a top priority of
the Government of Nepal as demonstrated by the lack of
resources dedicated to the issue. However, commitment is
strong within government line agencies, such as the National
Police and the Ministry of Women, Children and Social
Welfare (MWCSW). The MWCSW has instituted a National Task
Force Against Trafficking to coordinate government response,
and is working with the ILO, UNDP and other international
organizations to increase GON capacity to prevent
trafficking and prosecute offenders. Directly and through
district-level task forces, the Ministry coordinates with
NGOs to rehabilitate and assist victims. There are programs
in place to train police forces and the judiciary to deal
effectively with trafficking cases, but these programs reach
only a limited number of officials.

The MWCSW has drafted strengthened anti-trafficking
legislation to assist in the prosecution of offenders. The
legislation has not yet passed due to the dissolution of
parliament. However, effort is being made to pass the bill
by decree.

-- H. There is no documented evidence that government
authorities or individual members of government facilitate
trafficking, condone trafficking or are otherwise complicit
in such activities. However, some government authorities
such as immigration officials, police and judges are
susceptible to graft and corruption, and these practices no
doubt play a role in the prosecution of traffickers. There
have been no reported instances of prosecution or conviction
of government officials on trafficking-related charges.

-- I. One of the poorest countries in the world, Nepal
lacks the resources to address many of the underlying causes
of trafficking. Under-funded government welfare agencies
are generally incapable of delivering effective outreach
programs or assistance to trafficking victims. As a result,
anti-trafficking efforts have been primarily the domain of
NGOs and bilateral donors.

Institutional capacity to address the trafficking problem is
weak. In particular, the police lack both training and
resources, and the courts are overburdened and susceptible
to corruption. Current investigation and prosecution of
corrupt officials, including those in the judiciary, by the
Commission to Investigate Abuse of Authority (CIAA) might
deter some officials from committing corrupt acts.

Political instability has also hampered GON anti-trafficking
efforts. Several governments have come and gone in rapid
succession and since the dissolution of the last parliament
in May 2002, no elections have been held. As a result,
draft legislation to strengthen law enforcement and
prosecution of trafficking-related offenses has yet to be
passed, and the "National Plan of Action" to combat
trafficking has yet to be fully implemented.

-- J. According to the National Plan of Action, district
task forces are mandated to identify trafficking prone
areas, conduct awareness raising campaigns, collect data on
trafficking of women and children, disseminate trafficking
related information and coordinate with all stake holders to
address the issue of trafficking. Monitoring is an integral
part of their responsibility. MWCSW, with support from the
Center for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA),
established the Documentation and Information Center (DIC)
within MWCSW and has in place the Management information
System (MIS) which aims to track trafficking cases and NGO
interventions at the districts. MWCSW disseminated
information on program activities on a quarterly basis
through the publication of Combat Newsletter. In practice,
however, little information is sent from the districts to
the DIC.

-- K. National law is silent regarding prostitution,
although the concept of decriminalization prevails. In
practice, however, prostitutes are frequently treated as
criminals for violating public decency under the Public
Offence Act. Under current law, the Trafficking Control Act
1986, brothel owners are punished for the act of forced
prostitution but the law is silent about punishments for the
client, pimp or enforcer. The proposed Human Trafficking
Control Bill of 2002 includes the concept of criminalization
of prostitution and is progressive in proposing "in camera"
hearings for survivors and compensation to the victims.

-- L. Child marriage is still widespread in Nepal's rural
areas, but becoming less common. Not only is child marriage
prohibited by the law, but there appears to be growing
awareness of the dangers posed by child marriage. Although
there is no system of buying or selling a child to be a
bride, buying girl children does occur in some remote areas
of the mid west and far west of Nepal. In many of these
cases, the girls are offered to temples as `Deukis'. In the
past some `deukis' have adopted prostitution as a
profession.

In the far west there is a custom of `bride price' whereby
the groom pays money to the girl's family. This customary
practice may lead to trafficking as there is monetary
exchange and the unsuspecting parents can become easy
targets of traffickers. There are no reported cases of
buying or selling child brides or of Nepali men traveling
abroad to purchase child brides.



3. (SBU) PREVENTION

-- A. Prime Ministers, political party leaders,
parliamentarians and ministry officials have stated publicly
that trafficking is a national problem. Former Prime
Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba affirmed during his tenure that
"the government has taken trafficking as a serious problem,"
and "a serious crime." Pledging to seek stronger laws to
prosecute traffickers, Deuba also said the government must
address the underlying causes.
-- B. The MWCSW has primary responsibility for the
development and coordination of the GON's anti-trafficking
efforts. In addition, the MWCSW has instituted a National
Task Force Against Trafficking that includes personnel from
the National Planning Commission, the Nepal Police and the
Ministries of Labor and Transportation Management; Home
Ministry; Foreign Affairs; Law, Justice and Parliamentary
Affairs; Education and Sports; and Health. The ILO, UNICEF
and two representative NGOs are also members.

Additionally, the Nepal Police have established local-level
Women and Children Service Centers as part of their
community policing efforts. The Centers operate with a
combined mandate of law enforcement, counseling and public
awareness.

-- C. The MWCSW, NGOs and UNIFEM continue to implement
local, regional and national information campaigns about
trafficking in persons. The GON prepares radio programs,
audio-visual presentations, booklets, pamphlets and
signboards aimed at preventing trafficking among vulnerable
groups. "Village Vigilance Committees" (VVCs) have been
established in some districts, training local residents to
recognize possible trafficking cases and rescue potential
victims before they can be moved across the border. The GON
is considering an expansion of current efforts to activate
district and village anti-trafficking task forces in the
twenty-six "high risk" districts.

These efforts and others by the GON, INGOs and NGOs to raise
public awareness have resulted in the interception of
potential trafficking victims at the community and Indo-
Nepal border and positive acceptance of the survivors by the
community and family. The positive impact of media advocacy
was shared in a regional meeting organized by
USAID/UNIFEM/ATSEC in Dhaka in January 2004. Media advocacy
for policy change also had an impact in 2003. As a result,
key decisions were made by the Council of Ministers to
register companies for the provision of mandatory overseas
orientation to labor migrants and to lift the ban on women's
movement to the Gulf for the purpose of labor migration.

-- D. Under a 2003 GON initiative, all workers traveling
overseas are required to attend an orientation session
explaining worker rights, safety issues and relevant
regulations. A labor office was established at the airport
to reinforce the message. The GON also abolished a five-
year-old rule prohibiting Nepali women from working in Gulf
countries. The ban was imposed in 1998 after reports
surfaced of hardship and abuse from returning women workers.
Women's activists had voiced concerns that while the law did
not prevent Nepali women from clandestinely departing from
India for work in the Gulf, it restricted women's access to
information about their destinations and prevented them from
attending orientation classes, putting them at risk of
exploitation.

The MWCSW publishes a newsletter addressing issues of
concern to women and children, and operates a program in 47
districts to emphasize to parents the importance of sending
their children to school. Encouraging children to stay in
school is also a large component of the government's
campaign to eliminate child labor, currently being carried
out under the auspices of a USDOL-funded Timebound and
Brighter Future Projects.

Government-initiated income-generation projects have been
introduced in more than 3900 villages, providing micro-
credit loans, administering savings programs and encouraging
banks to support women entrepreneurs in almost all districts
of the country.

--E. The GON is unable to support financially most
prevention programs, but is very receptive to private
efforts. The government makes its personnel readily
available to take part in anti-trafficking training
programs, provides government facilities for outreach
programs and training, and otherwise supports private
initiatives to the best of its ability.

-- F. The MWCSW fosters a collaborative relationship with
donors and NGOs in joint pursuit of anti-trafficking goals.
For example, "Beyond Trafficking -- A Joint Initiative in
the Millennium Against Trafficking of Girls and Women (JIT)"
is a collaborative effort of the MWCSW, UN System Task Force
Against Trafficking and other donors. In addition to
cooperative work on the JIT and Information, Education and
Communication campaign, the Ministry has also worked
collaboratively with CEDPA and the ILO to establish a
Documentation and Information Center on trafficking and
developed software to manage information. An Office of the
National Rapporteur for Trafficking has been set up with
input from UNDP in the National Human Rights Commission.

-- G. Nepal's open land border with India does not allow
for stringent monitoring. One NGO has had some success at
monitoring the border independently, and UNICEF has provided
training for police and immigration officials to help them
identify potential trafficking victims at border crossings.
A cross-border initiative also has been established whereby
Nepali border officials and NGOs develop mechanisms for the
effective interception of potential victims at Indo-Nepal
crossings and the rescue and repatriation of victims from
India. More donors have become interested in supporting
border surveillance activities and establishing transit
homes along the Indo-Nepal borders.

-- H. See para B for information about GON anti-trafficking
task force. The Commission for the Investigation of the
Abuse of Authority investigates public corruption.

-- I. At a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
(SAARC) Summit held in January 2002, Nepal, together with
India and other South Asian countries, signed the SAARC
Convention on Preventing and Combating the Trafficking in
Women and Children for Prostitution. Together with other
SAARC countries, Nepal has agreed to establish SAARCPOL, a
regional body to fight trafficking and other transnational
crimes. Nepal and India have agreed to form a Joint Cross
Border Committee Against Trafficking.

Nepali civil society has lobbied for ratification of the
SAARC convention in the absence of a national legislature.
In January 2004, civil society organizations from South Asia
participated in a parallel summit during the 12th SAARC
summit in Islamabad to advocate for the ratification,
amendment and effective implementation of the SAARC
Convention by member states.

Nepal is a party to the Convention on Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEADAW), the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child, the ILO Minimum Age
Convention, the ILO Convention on the Prohibition and
Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of
Child Labor, the ILO Forced Labor Convention and the
Convention on the Abolition of Slavery.

-- J. The GON's National Plan of Action to combat
trafficking was developed in consultation with ILO, NGOs and
relevant government agencies. The National Plan was
finalized in 2003 and is in the process of being implemented
through various stakeholders.

-- K. The MWCSW's National Task Force Against Trafficking
is responsible for approving anti-trafficking programs
developed by the GON and monitoring anti-trafficking efforts
in the country.



4. (SBU) INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS

-- A. The absence of a national legislature continues to
delay enactment of new anti-trafficking legislation. Draft
legislation exists and is expected to be brought before a
new session of Parliament, once elections are conducted.

The Human Trafficking Control Act of 1986 is the current
anti-trafficking legislation. It prohibits:
- Selling of a human being for any purpose;
- Taking any person to a foreign territory with an
intention of selling that person to a third party;
- Involving any woman in prostitution by enticement,
allurement, fraud, threat, coercion or any other means;
- Abetting, assisting, conspiring or attempting to carry
out any of the above acts.

The 1986 Act is flawed in several ways. It does not
criminalize the separation of a minor from his or her legal
guardian with the intent of trafficking the minor, nor does
it criminalize the receipt of a trafficked person. Under
the terms of the Act, no crime occurs until the victim and
perpetrator are outside Nepali jurisdiction. (Adding to
this problem is the absence of an India-Nepal extradition
treaty that covers human traffickers.) The Act makes no
provision for the compensation or protection of trafficking
victims. Victims are often reluctant to testify, because
trials are held in open court and there is no legal
protection for witnesses. Local police cannot investigate
trafficking complaints without permission from prosecutors,
and the resultant delay gives perpetrators time to flee.

-- B. The 1986 Act provides for jail terms of up to 20
years for traffickers, but sentences are often much less.
Approximately 40% of traffickers receive minimum sentences
when convicted. [Updated information on prosecution
statistics will be forthcoming septel.]

-- C. Penalties for rape vary with the age of the victim.
If the victim is under 16, jail sentences of up to ten years
are possible. For victims 16 and over, sentences can be up
to five years. In either case, the court may order a
convicted rapist to give half of his property to the victim.
NGOs state that victims are not detained, jailed or
deported. If the victim is a foreigner, he or she will be
handed over to the concerned Embassy.

-- D. During 2002/2003 72 cases of trafficking were
reported to the police. 2003/2004 prosecution statistics
are not yet available. (Post will provide them septel prior
to publication of TIP report.) The GON has prosecuted cases
against traffickers though punishments generally are
minimal. An analysis by the Nepal Police of cases
registered between May 2002 and April 2003 revealed that
most traffickers had trafficked several victims multiple
times, and the number of offenders far exceeds the number of
registered cases as there may be several offenders involved
in one registered case.

Media coverage on traffickers arrested by the community has
risen in the past year due to raised awareness within
communities. Prosecution has improved with more stringent
punishment of traffickers and their accomplices. One
progressive legal decision that set a precedent is the case
of Durga Dhimal vs. His Majesty's Government. In this case,
the Supreme Court made a very strict interpretation on the
issue of trafficking so that the statement of the victim is
treated as substantial evidence. Another progressive
amendment in prosecuting human traffickers is that the
burden of proof lies on the accused defendant. However, a
loophole places the burden of proof on the victim in cases
of complicity of a relative. In more than 75% of cases, a
relative is involved.

Nepal experienced several successful prosecutions this year.
In June 2003, seven Nepalis were convicted for trafficking
over 100 victims. The leader of the trafficking ring was
sentenced to 75 years imprisonment with lesser sentences for
the other 6 traffickers. In another case in February 2004,
a district court convicted one Nepali of selling his first
cousin in a Mumbai brothel and sentenced him to a minimum of
15 yrs imprisonment.

-- E. Government officials, police and NGOs suspect that
organized criminal groups and "marriage brokers" are the
primary perpetrators of trafficking in Nepal. They note
that parents and other relatives of trafficking victims are
often complicit as well.

-- F. By its own admission, the government lacks the
trained manpower necessary to investigate effectively cases
of trafficking. While no legal restrictions prevent the
police from conducting covert operations or electronic
surveillance, poor training, rudimentary equipment and
procedural inertia prevent the techniques from being
utilized.

-- G. As part of an anti-trafficking initiative begun in
1996, the Nepal Police have occasionally trained a limited
number of personnel in the investigation of trafficking.
However, most training programs of this type are developed
and administered by NGOs. The GON supports programs to the
best of its ability by providing facilities and making its
personnel available to attend.

-- H. In October, 2000, Nepal's Home Ministry, the UN
Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and NGOs hosted a
regional workshop for senior police officers to enhance
cross-border anti-trafficking collaboration. Several follow-
up meetings involving Nepal and India have taken place.
Meeting of the South Asia Professionals against Trafficking
was held in March 2004 in India with support from USAID
SARI/Q and UNIFEM.

-- I. Nepal and India, are currently discussing their
bilateral extradition treaty, signed in 1955. The treaty is
being updated to address transnational crimes more
effectively. Nepali law does not prohibit the government
from extraditing its own nationals, but the GON has not had
occasion to do so in connection with trafficking.

-- J. Post has no evidence that, as a matter of policy, GON
authorities facilitate, condone or are otherwise complicit
in human trafficking. However, local anti-trafficking NGOs
report that individual local officials and border police
sometimes accept bribes in exchange for allowing the
traffickers and their victims to cross Nepal's border with
India. The Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of
Authority (CIAA) has the power to investigate incidences of
corruption by public officials.

-- K. No GON officials have been prosecuted for involvement
in trafficking or trafficking-related corruption.

-- L. Nepal ratified ILO Convention 29 on Forced Labor on
January 3, 2002, and ratified ILO Convention 182 on
September 13, 2001. Nepal has not yet ratified ILO
Convention 105.

Nepal has not ratified the Sale of Children Protocol, which
supplements the Rights of the Child Convention; or the
Protocol to Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons,
Especially Women and Children, which supplements the UN
Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.



5. (SBU) PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS

-- A. Questions regarding residency status and relief from
deportation do not appear to apply to Nepal, as Nepal is not
a destination country for international trafficking in
persons. For victims of internal trafficking, victim care
facilities are limited, and are run primarily by NGOs.

-- B. The GON provides limited funding to local NGOs to
provide assistance to victims of trafficking with
rehabilitation, medical care and legal services. The GON
does not fund foreign NGOs. Bilateral and multilateral
donors, working with the GON through the MWCSW, do fund
local and foreign NGOs to provide victim assistance.

-- C. There is no formal screening or referral process in
place to transfer victims from GON custody into local care
facilities. In practice, however, it is common for the
police to refer victims to local NGOs that maintain
rehabilitation centers. Legal advocacy groups typically
provide assistance at minimal or no cost to the victim.

-- D. The government of Nepal does protect the rights of
victims. Trafficking victims are not detained, jailed, or
deported, nor are they, as trafficking victims, prosecuted
for violations of other laws. While the GON does not
actively encourage trafficking victims to file civil suits
or seek legal action against traffickers, once the victim
does file a civil suit or make a criminal complaint, the GON
will prosecute the case at no cost to the victim. The Nepal
Police have initiated a "Women's Cell," aimed at assisting
victims of trafficking and domestic violence.

-- E. The Nepal Police do not have an intensive screening
process, but intercepted and returned survivors are handed
over to the care of NGOs, which in turn pursue legal and
other procedures. In most cases, NGO-provided prosecutions
have successfully resulted in maximum punishments for the
traffickers. Success is less likely in cases argued by
public attorneys. Threats by traffickers, lack of personal
security, open court hearings, and non-cooperative
communities often discourage the victims from pursuing legal
recourse. There is no restitution program in place, although
proposed legislation includes this provision.

-- F. There is no provision for the government to provide
protection to victims or witnesses.

-- G. As part of the new foreign employment initiative
announced in January 2003 (see Prevention, para D), the GON
opened an Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and appointed labor
attaches to Malaysia and UAE, both of which have large
concentrations of Nepali workers. The government has also
initiated a request for Saudi Arabia and Malaysia to open
consular sections in Kathmandu. A welfare fund will be
established to assist workers injured on overseas jobs.
Government representatives at Consulates in India, the
destination country for most of Nepal's trafficking victims,
do not receive special training in protection. However,
they assist with the repatriation of victims to Nepal if
cases are brought to their attention.

In May 1999, the MWCSW opened the Women's Skill Development
Center, a rehabilitation and skills training center for
women returned from being trafficked and for women at risk
of being trafficked. However, the center was closed in 2003
due to lack of resources. Most "safe houses" and
rehabilitation centers are run by privately-funded NGOs.

-- H. The government does not provide assistance to its
repatriated nationals who are victims of trafficking.

-- I. There are more then 40 national-level NGOs working on
the issues of trafficking. With the GON's endorsement, many
NGOs conduct public information and outreach campaigns in
rural areas. They also provide prevention education, micro-
finance, rehabilitation, advocacy and legal assistance. Two
representative NGOs are members of the MWCSW's National Task
Force, and the GON works closely with NGOs to provide
services to victims and assist in the implementation of the
National Plan of Action.



6. (U) OMB Reporting Requirements: One FS-03 officer spent
8 hours drafting and clearing this year's TIP report. One
FS-01 officer spent one hour, one FS-02 officer spent 15
minutes, and DCM spent 30 minutes clearing the report. One
FSN-11 USAID employee spent twelve hours researching
information.