Due to the link between the situation a women faces in her home (e.g. domestic violence) and the risk of trafficking, SAATHI has recently expanded their work to combat to combat trafficking of women and children in Nepal.
In May 2003, SAATHI in partnership with Planete Enfant and ABC Nepal, with support from the European Union, launched a three-year programme to combating trafficking of women and children along the 1650 km Indo-Nepal border. The project covers 21 districts of Nepal adjoining Indian territories, of which SAATHI is covering 6 districts in the west of the country.
Cross-Border Programme: Aims and Objectives
The aims of the project are to prevent the trafficking of Nepalese children, young girls and women for sexual exploitation, forced labor, domestic slavery and the sale of organs in India.
The specific objectives of the program are to:
Strengthen the surveillance capacity along the six-border checkpoint with India to intercept the children, girls and young women suspected of being victims of trafficking.
Create a specific and efficient network using new technologies, in particular the Internet.
Generate awareness through the use of multi media.
Empower elected women representatives and help increase their engagement in the struggle against human trafficking and the prevention of HIV/AIDS
To reintegrate to their communities the Nepalese girls and women who are intercepted at the border checkpoints
Cross-Border Programme: The project
SAATHI’s role in the project has been to establish border vigilance posts and two transit centres for girls who have been intercepted at the border. The transit centres, located in Kanchanpur and Banke, offer short-term crisis support and long-term rehabilitation for the girls and women.
The project also involves social mobilisation training and non-formal education programmes to 450 girls and women (aged 14 – 24) in each of the six districts, who have formed pressure groups to raise awareness of trafficking within their local communities.
The project also involves sensitization training and the formation of a National Pilot Committee and 19 District Pilot Committees. These committees include representatives from NGOs, the Women’s Police Cell, the National Police, local and district governments, the Ministry for Women, Children and Social Welfare, EU embassies and the EU delegation and women elected representatives. The committees will support all aspects of advocacy and form strong networks against trafficking.
SAATHI is also using mass media, awareness raising materials and street theatre to highlight and prevent the problem of human trafficking in west Nepal.