Kathmandu, Sept 11 – Amid a growing trend of Nepali men and women being trafficked via Sri Lanka, two Sri Lankan women have been rescued from the clutches of traffickers who tried to send them to various foreign destinations using Nepal as the transit point.
The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police rescued two Sri Lankan women from a hotel in Thamel on August 25. Both of them left for their homes on Thursday.
The CIB, with support from the International Organi-zation for Migration (IoM) and Shakti Samuha, an NGO working against trafficking, rescued the women aged 24 and 33. They had arrived in Nepal on May 21.
“The duo was brought to Kathmandu some three months ago by a broker who promised to send them to Canada. They were first taken to Indonesia,” said Nepal Police Spokesperson SP Mira Chaudhary.
The CIB had raided Hotel Bishwonath in Tridevi Marga, Thamel and rescued the girls from Kilinochchi district in Sri Lanka.
They were lured by a broker to be sent to Canada using Nepal as the transit point.
Upon their arrival in Kathmandu, the Sri Lankan broker abetted by a Nepali man kept them in the hotel before disappearing. The girls knew that they were duped only after the hotel owner presented them with a bill of Rs300,000 including the cost of their stay of days.
According to Dilip Koirala, legal and training coordinator at Shakti Samuha, the girls said in their statements that the hotel owner had taken away Rs20,000 each, promising them visa extension.
Many women and men are found to have been trafficked to various Gulf countries via Colombo. Traffickers use the route for lax airport security and easy visa processing for Nepali nationals in Sri Lanka. A team from the Home Ministry including Nepal Police officials visited Sri Lanka two years ago to discuss the rise in trafficking via the country.
“Nepal is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking,” stated a recent report of the US Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons.