More than 230,000 people in Nepal are living in modern day slavery, according to a survey report by Walk Free Foundation, a human rights group.
The Global Slavery Index prepared by the Walk Free Foundation, released on Tuesday, has ranked Nepal 13th out of 167 countries.
An estimated 234,600 people-0.82 percent of population) in Nepal are living in modern day slavery, says the report.
The index, by the Australia-based human rights group, increased its estimate of people born into servitude, trafficked for sex work, or trapped in debt bondage or forced labour to 45.8 million from 35.8 million in 2014.
“Asia is home to an estimated two-thirds of the total number of people living in modern day slavery,” says the report.
According to the report, India has by far the largest number of modern slaves (18.35 million), followed by China with 3.39 million and Pakistan with 2.13 million.
North Korea was found to have the highest per capita rate of modern slavery, with 4.37 percent of its population affected.
The report also mentions how Nepali women are being exploited and trafficked.
“Trafficking of Nepali women to South Korea and China for marriage has resulted in as many as 1,000 women being exploited by marriage bureau,” states the report. Human trafficking for organ harvesting is another dangerous trend included in the report.
Approximately 7,000 Nepali women and girls are trafficked into India every year, says the report. It has also estimated 41 percent of Nepali girls are married before the age of 18, with roughly ten percent marrying before the age of 15.
The National Human Rights Commission in its report launched recently had stated that 16,500 women were trafficked in the last two years.
Caste system, poverty, traditional farming system, child marriage and porous border with India have been pointed as some of the key reasons that put people into modern day slavery.
Nepal ranks fifth in terms of the government’s response to combat modern slavery in the Asia Pacific region and stands at 54 among 161 countries.
The survey has also recommended that the government ratify the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their families and the ILO Domestic Workers Convention to provide vulnerable citizen from modern slavery.
“The report is new in terms of staggering number it has come up with. The report would have been more useful if it had provided segregated data,” said Sunita Nepal, under-secretary and head of trafficking section at the Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare.
Source: The Kathmandu Post