Incident Reports

Ex-trafficking victims demand citizenship right


Bagmati, Kathmandu, Kathmandu, Ward 10

Women who have survived to traffic have asked the government to make provision in the new constitution allowing them to pass on their citizenship to their children by descent. A study conducted by Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (Worec) and Shakti Samuha has concluded that not being able to provide citizenship to their children was the biggest trouble faced by women who had been victims of trafficking in the past. “This is one of their major problems. There is the problem of identity of the survivors and their children who were born during the trafficking, as mothers do not have the right to pass on their citizenship to their children,” said President of Shakti Samuha Charimaya Tamang. The provision on citizenship in the preliminary draft of the constitution has made it mandatory for a child to prove the Nepali nationality of both his/her parents to acquire citizenship by descent. The study conducted in 11 districts with the aim of identifying important issues related to trafficking survivors and to share their experiences and get their recommendations for a dignified life revealed that trafficking survivors find the existing stipulation on citizenship ineffective. The study also states that the lack of coordination between Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act and Foreign Employment Act has created hurdles for survivors to get legal help easily. “Not all migrant women are trafficked but a significant portion of them are.

However, they are not recognised as such by national authorities. A comprehensive law must be formulated to help the victims and punish the culprits,” said Bijaya Gurung of Paurakhi, an organisation that works for returnee women migrant workers. Noting that it is difficult for trafficking survivors to lead a normal life because of social stigma, Tamang of Shakti Samuha said the government should create job opportunities for trafficking survivors. “We’ve found that those who have a good source of income had better chances of social acceptance over those who were uneducated and unemployed,” said Tamang, adding social reintegration is a long and a complex process and it requires the attention from both the government and civil society organisations. Lack of rehabilitation centres is another problem faced by former trafficking victims. Currently, there are eight rehabilitation centres and 17 safe houses supported by the government which stakeholders claim is not sufficient to provide immediate help to the victims. Issue of lack of proper data collection is another issue raised in the study. “We are still using the data provided by ILO in 2001. We need new data to find out the actual number of cases,” said Ratna Kaji Bajracharya, former joint secretary, adding without actual numbers it is difficult to form effective plans.


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