More and more people in the remote regions of western Nepal are leaving their villages to find work abroad. Many of them become victims of the scams of traffickers and smugglers. Together with our partner organization NEEDS, we implement projects to combat human trafficking and to promote safe migration.

Desperately searching for a better life, roughly 1,700 Nepalese people leave their home every day to (find) work abroad. They are migrating to neighboring countries such as India and China, or to the Gulf States, aiming to secure livelihood for themselves and their families, often under catastrophic conditions. Meanwhile, more than 3.5 million Nepalese live as migrant workers abroad. The Nepalese government has long neglected the social consequences of labor migration, partly because migrant remittances make up a significant proportion of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). More than half of all Nepalese households receive support from family members abroad, worth a total of US $ 6 billion, almost a third of Nepal's GDP. Migration has now become a worthwhile economic factor in Nepal.

The districts of Doti and Kanchapur in western Nepal are among the poorest in the country. Challenging topographical and complicate living conditions in a region dependent on agriculture causing a hardship for its population. Almost half of all inhabitants live in poverty without access to basic health care. Gender and cast-based discrimination is widespread. For many people, migration is the only solution in their hope for a better life. Due to their geographical proximity to India, both districts are considered as transit regions, reflected in their high migration rate.

Mostly women become victims of exploitation and human trafficking

Nepalese who leave the country are often poorly qualified. In their destination countries they usually live and work in extremely adverse conditions: lack of occupational safety measures, difficult climatic conditions, exploitation and even torture characterize the everyday lives of many migrant workers. The proportion of women has risen steadily in recent years. Many see migration as the only chance of escaping domestic violence and discrimination. They often work as domestic workers or other informal occupations that are difficult to control. After their arrival in their host country, they often become victims of violence and abuse - or even forced into prostitution.

Also the family members of migrants who remain in Nepal are struggling with the consequences of migration. Old family structures are dissolved and new dependencies arise. Many people are left to their own devices. The family safety net and the care of their children, parents or spouses, who now live abroad, slowly vanish. Only the monetary support through remittances from abroad benefits them.

Safe Migration and prevention of Human Trafficking

In 2015, together with our partner organization NEEDS, we launched one of the first safe migration projects in the districts of Kanchanpur and Doti aiming to promote safe migration and thus preventively deal with human trafficking. The local population should be better informed about migration in order to make self-determined decisions for or against migration. Another important concern of our work is the primary care and reintegration of returning migrants as well as victims and survivors of human trafficking. The first step is to raise awareness about  the topic. Education campaigns draw attention to the issues of insecure migration, human trafficking and gender-based violence. Among other things, these are carried out by returning migrants. Since schools are an important basis for preventive work, teachers receive subject-related training in order to pass on their knowledge as multipliers. Thus, even the youngest are made aware of the different challenges caused through migration and human trafficking. In addition to the educational work in schools, there are also broad-based print and radio campaigns.

First Aid, Reintegration and Consulting

At the local level, newly created Migration Information Centers serve to facilitate the reintegration of returning migrants into the community through training activities. It also supports exchange between those concerned. The Migration Information Centers are located in strategic locations, such as central bus stations, as they are traffic hubs for potential migrants. For those returning, it is often not easy to find their way back to a normal everyday life. Unclear job prospects, broken family structures and a lack of financial reserves make the situation more difficult. Many have experienced violence during their time abroad and return traumatized. For the affected persons, we provide first aid as well as psychosocial counseling within the scope of the project.

Project information:

Project: Promotion of Safe Migration & Prevention of Human Trafficking in Doti and Kanchanpur Districts of Nepal

Implementation areas: Doti and Kanchanpur District

Partner: National Environment & Equity Development Society (NEEDS) Nepal

Target Group: Migrants (potential, returnee migrants, unsuccessful returnee), spouses of migrants, missing migrant families and human trafficking survivors


- Establish Migrant Information Service Centers

- Support of safe migration and prevention of human trafficking

- Information and consulting service

- Improvement of socio-economic situation of potential victims and survivors of Human Trafficking

- Gender sensitization

Implementation period: 2017-2019

Budget: 75.000 Euro p.a.

Donor: BMZ




Bhimdatt Municipality - 18
Janjyoti Tole Bhasi Mahendranagar
Kanchanpur, Nepal
Tel: +977-99-525150 / 525491

Email: needsmnr2008 [at]