The Social Justice and Human Rights Committee of the Legislature-Parliament today directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to furnish report on trafficking of Nepali youths to the United States via Latin American countries.
A meeting of the House panel held today also asked MoFA to make available information of jailed Nepalis in various Latin American countries, who were caught while trying to enter the US through networks of human traffickers. The panel also urged the government to initiate diplomatic efforts to ensure their safe release and bring them home.
The committee had summoned Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey and Acting Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi to discuss the growing human trafficking via Latin America to the United States.
Minister Pandey told the House panel that at least 1,541 Nepalis had been arrested while trying to enter the US via Latin America between 2004 and 2013. He informed that those Nepalis were arrested while travelling to the US — both legally and illegally — via Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala and other Latin American countries. He added that international as well as domestic human trafficking networks were involved.
Minister Pandey also informed that an inter-ministerial mechanism, involving the Ministry of Home Affairs, MoFA and Ministry of Labour, was being formed to devise ways tackle the problem.
He added that the government became aware of the problem after the Nepalis got arrested in Latin American countries. According to him, the network of human traffickers put trap for Nepali youths selling them an American dream and extract millions of rupees from them or their families. These youths are then taken to the US via over a dozen countries in various continents.
Minister Pandey said that the government was aware that these Nepalis were being shipped to the US via Mexico and the government was considering opening a mission in Mexico to address the problem. He also informed that the government was aware that Spain had become one of the transit points ‘to ship’ the Nepalis to Bolivia, a Latin American country, on their way to the US.
Lawmakers had asked the government to take strong measures and tighten the immigration points and port of entry to discourage such trend.
Committee Chair Sushil Kumar Shrestha stated that the government should seek help from other friendly and concerned countries on diplomatic levels to control the alarming rate of human trafficking in the country.