Peer Learning among the Nepali Partner Organizations

Three of AWO International’s partner organizations in Nepal are working towards the same goal but they had not yet been sitting together around one table. All the three are working towards safe migration and against human trafficking. It was high time for a get together and an exchange how to reach the common goal collectively.  

From 2nd till 4th May 2016 Maiti Nepal, Pourakhi Nepal and Needs Nepal came together for a workshop entitled “Sharing & Learning Workshop: Exploring Synergies among Partners of AWO International on Safe Migration and Anti-Trafficking in Nepal”. For AWO International it was high time to gather its partners around one table. Since AWO International has started some new collaborations during the past years, the end of the pilot phase and the planning for the upcoming three years provided good reasons to now explore synergies for the common goal.

The situation of human trafficking had just been again underlined by the latest report of the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal. “Trafficking in Person – National Report 2013 – 2015” was released in March 2016. Some of the main findings were that an estimated 8000 – 8500 persons were trafficked each year in 2013/14 and 2014/15. In addition it was attempted to traffic another 9000 – 9500 persons. After the earthquake 2015 there was an increase of at least 15 percent. People being trafficked originate from across the country.  85 percent of people being trafficked have never been to school. “Traffickers are not only strangers but they are mostly own relatives and persons who are known. In terms of destination of trafficking, majority are being trafficked to India, but internal trafficking and trafficking to Gulf state have also evolved. Data reveal that trafficking takes place for multiple purposes especially for sexual exploitation, labor exploitation and other purposes such as marriage and illegal organ extraction.” (Trafficking in Person, page iX)

To tackle this appalling situation, Needs Nepal, Pourakhi Nepal and Maiti Nepal implement awareness raising measures, they form self-help groups at local level. They set up migration information centers at district level, they run awareness campaigns and develop radio programs. Some intercept buses on the routes to India and China and protect especially young women from being trafficked. They orient and sensitize security forces. They repatriate survivors of human trafficking. They run shelter homes and offer psycho-social counseling. They support unsuccessful returnee migrants. They work against stigma and discrimination. They offer measures to improve livelihood. They engage that remittances also being used for development. They do lobby and advocacy work at national level.  

During the planning processes in the first quarter of this year, it became more than obvious that AWO International’s partner work with very similar approaches and adopt similar strategies to tackle the problems. Since the three partners all have a different history and different areas they have specialized in, there was a lot to learn from each other. They discussed the challenges they are facing, they wanted to know more about each others social structures (community safety nets, spouse groups, community alert groups), rescue programs of trafficked girls/women, reintegration of rescued trafficked girls and women, life skill education, trend on trafficking in China and so on. Furthermore, all the partners developed a common understanding to flag out some issues such as India migration for employment (yet to consider as foreign employment and no data available on India migrants), to support “Zero Cost” foreign employment policy and joint advocacy campaigning, just to name few. Finally, an action plan for future collaboration was developed. And they are all already looking forward to go more into detail during the next partners’ get together.