Reducing Child Sex Trafficking and Worst Form of Child Labour in Marginalized Communities of Rautahat District
The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force abduction, fraud or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labour or sexual exploitation whereas Child labour refers to any work that deprives children off their childhood and their right to education, health, safety and moral development based on ILO standards on Child Labour are defined by the ILO Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (N0.138) and the Worst Form of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182). Though Child labour and child trafficking are illegal in Nepal, an estimated 1.6 million children between the ages of 5-17 years are in the work force-according to the National Child labour report. A countless number of children become victim of trafficking every year.
According to the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, 17,000 to 18,000 persons are trafficked from Nepal to different countries every year. Majority of these are children trafficked for sex and labour. According to ILO report (2001), approximately 12,000 women and children are trafficked to India every year and Rautahat is one of districts with high incidences of child sex trafficking. In the Terai region, children are being more victimized into trafficking and child labour. Traffickers target children from the poorest families since they are more vulnerable as their families are often unable to secure help from the authorities. The category of missing children includes a range of cases- abduction or kidnapping, trafficking, runaways and lost children. A significant number of children run away to the cities where they fall prey to the exploiters and are forced for child labour.
The project aims to address the issue of increased child sex trafficking incidences and the worst form of child labour in Rautahat District of Nepal. Rautahat district is one of the most backward districts of Nepal with higher prevalence of child sex trafficking and worst form of child labour and borders India. The proposed response will aim to prevent and protect girls and boys being intercepted or at risk of trafficking through the provision of children protection, education services and livelihood support to the families of children intercepted from anti-trafficking booth. The intervention should also target caregivers to increase the knowledge about the importance of family care especially during/after disaster. Further the prevention and response of child trafficking by establishing community monitoring and alert system by engaging adolescent girls and boys and youth (who are potentially more at risk of trafficking) as well as WCPC’s needs strengthening. The intervention should also priorities to build capacity of local and district committees to control trafficking.
To ensure the protection of children intercepted or at risk of trafficking and Worst Form of Child Labor (WFCL) through provision of protection, educational and self-reliant services.
Chandrapur, Garuda, Rajpur and Gaur Municipalities of Rautahat district.
April 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020
- The major primary target group of the intervention was children intercepted from child trafficking and/or removed from WFCL and their families.
- Another target group were community networks like Ward level Child Protection Committee (WCPC), Municipal level youth and women groups.
- Indirect beneficiaries were Women, Child and Senior Citizen Service Centre (Garuda Cell), community people and boys, girls and their families and schools of target locations.
• l0- I 8 children intercepted from child trafficking and/or removed from WFCL.
• 18-24 years old from the Youth groups, Women groups.
• l8 - older – Caregivers, community members, WCPC members, Women groups and Youth Groups.
Direct and Indirect Beneficiaries:
(Disaggregated beneficiaries’ detail)
A. Direct Beneficiaries:
i. # of girls - 4350; # of boys - 4100; # of women - 4450; # of men – 4450
ii. 130 HHs of children intercepted from child trafficking and/or removed from WFCL receives livelihood support.
B. Indirect Beneficiaries
# of girls -5600; # of boys - 5600; # of women - 6540; # of men - 6540
- 193 numbers of assessment and identification of children intercepted from child trafficking and or involved in WFCL achieved. About half of the referred cases were from the key stakeholders; committee members of WCPC, mother groups and youth groups whereas about 27% cases were referred from ward offices of target municipalities. About 78% of referred cases were supported with need-based support.
- About 22% cases of trafficking had been achieved whereas about 78% cases were of WFCL and about 62% cases were rescued from WFCL children.
- About one third of the cases are child labor as a wage worker whereas about 13% cases are children who were domestic workers and now, they have been rescued from WFCL and been supported with educational materials and their parents with livelihood.
- About 73% children are of the age range from 13 to 18 years old whereas 27% are of the age range 6 to 12 years old.
- About 74% cases of child trafficking cases are of age range from 13 to 18 years.
- Almost 94% cases of child trafficking cases are female.
- About 74% cases are of age range from 13 to 18 years out of 151 cases.
- Around 69% cases are female child who were involved in WFCL and rescued from child trafficking out of 151 supported cases.
- About 29% children are Dalit whereas about 30% children are Muslims out of a total of 150 children who were supported with need-based support.
- Out of 151 total cases, female child was 69% whereas male child was only 31%.
- 151 children and their families were supported with need-based support and livelihood support. The need-based supports were educational support like copy, pen, pencil with eraser and sharpener, geometry box, color pencil, school bag, school shoes and socks along with two sets of school uniform with clothes stitching charges. Livelihood support to the children families were goat farming support, vegetable selling, cosmetics business, grocery business, four-wheeler pushcart support, tailoring materials and tailoring training supports etc.
- About two third of the support covers goat farming and education support and tailoring training and tailoring materials support whereas about one third of the support is tailoring training and tailoring materials support.
- About 64% beneficiaries have been supported with educational support.
- Material support after need assessment to the Women, Child and Senior Citizen Service Centre (Garuda Cell) in existing structure was provided for the children which aims for the sustainability in providing comfort to the children. The supported materials to Garuda Cell were hygiene materials, indoor game materials, educational materials, cupboard, trunk (box), chair, dustbin, bedding sets, etc.
- 18 community networks were formed, capacitated and mobilized for the intervention. Ten ward level child protection committee (WCPC) were formed at each targeted ward of four municipalities. Four municipal level women groups and four municipal level youth groups were formed under the project. These committee and groups were formed to strengthen and capacitate the community networks to aware the community on child protection and child rights issues.
- Three hand washing stations were established at three different targeted wards. Hygiene materials were hand over to the WCPC of that wards along with hand washing station for the operation, management and maintenance purposes. Orientation and demo on hand washing skills and techniques were carried at each ward to the communities, community networks and children.
- Municipal level action plan to control child trafficking and child labor was developed in consultation with municipality’s concern personnel for Chandrapur municipality.
- 19 events of awareness campaigns completed under the head. The completed activities under this heading were one day workshop on worst form of child labor and child trafficking, demo on hand washing steps and techniques, quiz competition, singing competition and speech competition to mark international children day. Awareness program on gender-based violence, rally on child rights and protection, street show (drama) on child labor and child trafficking issues, candle lightening program and sticker containing GBV related info sticking campaigns were conducted under the project.
- Radio jingles containing messages related child trafficking and child labor, covid-19 pandemic, radio talk shows program on child protection especially on child protection issues especially on child labor and child trafficking along with covid-19 pandemic impact on children, video documentary were developed and broadcasted and disseminated.
- Posters and leaflets were distributed in the youth led awareness events, awareness campaigns and at child protection and awareness centres.
- A hoarding board was established at Sakhuwa Dhamaura with relevant information on child labor and child trafficking.
- Identification and assessment of the cases is hard as the communities does not open up easily on the trafficking cases. Communities have tendency to hide the evidence and consequences of the cases.
- The project was designed for immediate response after the flood but it was implemented years later after the flood. Trafficking cases could have been found if the project was launched soon after the flood. Thus, it was difficult to track trafficking cases in this project in the post emergency situation.
- Budget was limited for the livelihood support. The amount allotted was not so enough for the livelihood support. The families are ultra-poor as almost all of them are daily wage laborer. If the budget were sufficient then the intervention would have supported more vulnerable families.
- There was a huge need of a logistic staff for the intervention as the whole project was based upon the need-based support.
- Complaints response mechanism were limited to the child protection and awareness centres only. It is felt that this mechanism was child protection and awareness centre (CP) centric. So, the complaints response mechanisms would have been established at more places like ward offices, municipality offices and/or at the reach of more people where it would have been at everyone’s reach. It would have been made more visible to the community if we could have placed the complaints response mechanisms at these places.
- The project duration was short and the budget was limited. This kind of intervention is much needed in future too as there are prevalent cases of WFCL in the communities which could not be addressed through this project.
- Trainings to project staffs were inadequate. Capacity building of staffs were limited. So, enough capacity building trainings are required to capacitate staffs for mobilization.
- Seasonal calendar is most important to attain the activities in pre-planning, action plan before implementing the activities. The lesson learnt in terms of planning was highly achieved because even though the planning was been made, but due to uncertainties (natural calamities) the scheduled plan was needed to change. Therefore, the back-up planning need to be more focused for the prior urgencies.
- Lesson learnt while implementing activities is the pre-planning and execution of the tasks. Here, coordination and communication played a vital role. Without, active cooperation and coordination, communication, it would be difficult to implement the plans for better results.