'Amendment to Foreign Employment Act imperative to enforce Palermo Protocol'

This image shows the building of the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens in Singha Durbar, Kathmandu in April 2022. Photo courtesy: Sushil Dhakal

KATHMANDU: Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens Uma Regmi has said the government is working to amend laws needed to enforce the Palermo Protocol. Nepal ratified the Palermo Protocol in 2020.

At a discussion on Palermo Protocol organised by Law, Justice and Human Rights Committee on Monday, Minister Regmi said efforts were on to amend the laws needed for the application of the Palermo Protocol or the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC).

The Protocol was adopted by the United Nations in 2000 as part of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), it is the first legally binding instrument with an internationally recognised definition of human trafficking. This definition provides a vital tool for the identification of victims, whether men, women or children, and for the detection of all forms of exploitation which constitute human trafficking. Countries that ratify this treaty must criminalise human trafficking and develop anti-trafficking laws in line with the Protocol’s legal provisions.

On the occasion, Minister Regmi said, “The main cause behind human trafficking is poverty. Now, more issues have emerged due to digital technology. Such (challenges) should be controlled.”

Likewise, Minister Regmi said human trafficking taking place in the name of foreign employment has become a pressing challenge to the government while calling for common efforts to combat such serious crime.

Also speaking at the programme, Ministry Secretary Hari Prasad Mainali shared that the government was facing problems in the rescue of Nepalis languishing in foreign countries after landing there on a visit visa.

On the occasion, Executive Director of Forum for Women, Law and Development Sabin Shrestha suggested that the government should amend nearly a dozen Acts including Foreign Employment Act, Immigration Act, Labour Act, Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act and others for the enforcement of the Palermo Protocol.

Activist Charimaya Tamang also expressed her opinion at the programme calling for special attention from the government to combat human trafficking taking place in the name of foreign employment.


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