Community Perceptions of Trafficking and its Determinants in Nepal

The study aims to assess the vulnerability of girls and women to trafficking by identifying the perceptions, knowledge, and attitudes of community members and adolescent girls. It was conducted using both qualitative and quantitative research techniques in three districts of Nepal—Jhapa, Parsa, and Palpa. The study which included 1269 married and unmarried girls between 14 and 19 years, aimed to find out their aspirations, decision-making power and knowledge about migration, trafficking and HIV/AIDS. The study shows that women and girls aspire to study, explore, and experience life beyond their communities despite restrictions on mobility. It also reveals the negative perceptions in community on returnee trafficked women. The issue of migration and prostitution indicates that communities regard migration as an important livelihood strategy but fear that exposure to a new environment will spoil women’s ‘character’ and that it will ultimately lead them to sex trade. Based on these findings, the report indicates a need for community-based interventions that focus on explaining the difference between migration and trafficking; providing care and support to trafficked returnees; and addressing issues of gender-power discrimination.

Mahendra, V.S., P. Bhattarai, D.R. Dahal, and S. Crowley. 2001. Kathmandu and New Delhi: The Asia Foundation and Population Council Horizons.

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