The Best Way to Combat Human Trafficking Is to Stop It Before It Happens
See 5 Strategies That Are Saving Lives, Protecting Communities, and Restoring Hope in Nepal
Though a critical part of our mission is to restore women and kids from the traumas of human trafficking, the Women’s Protection Center in Nepal spends the majority of its time preventing trafficking from happening in the first place.
Here’s how we prevent human trafficking:
Identify the Root Causes
There are two primary causes of human trafficking in Nepal – extreme poverty, and families broken down by abuse, neglect, addiction, or strife. To prevent human trafficking, you must combat those two roots.
When this fails to happen, these two roots lead to women and children in Nepal becoming increasingly desperate for a way out. This makes them vulnerable to lies and deceptive promises, such as the ability to get in good schools in another country, or fast track overseas work opportunities.
That’s how it happens. Two articles below explore these causes in greater depth:
To truly prevent human trafficking, this means to stop it before it happens. With an understanding of the forces at work behind this global injustice, here are five strategies you can help WPC Nepal continue doing to actively prevent human trafficking.
1. Help More Kids Go to School
It’s not a new solution, but it’s an extremely effective one. Being in school gives kids hope. It helps them believe they can do something with their lives and motivates them to achieve their dreams. When they grown up, they have many more work opportunities to support themselves and their families.
That’s why WPC Nepal pays for all the kids in our program to attend school. (School is not free in Nepal). We also support other kids living in the surrounding community whose parents can’t afford to send them to school.
The more kids you can help send to school where they live, the fewer kids (and the adults in their lives) who will be vulnerable or desperate enough to say ‘yes’ to a trafficker’s promise of getting into school in some far off land.
2. Meet Immediate and Desperate Needs
Sudden disasters, whether they’re on a household or national scale, can force a family into desperate situations that make them vulnerable to traffickers.
That’s why we got involved with earthquake relief after the big quakes in 2015. On the surface it might seem like disaster relief doesn’t connect to our mission, but it’s actually essential: we do this work to keep communities together and strong.
With the help of generous donors who boldly stepped up to the plate, we rebuilt schools and delivered blankets to many suddenly homeless earthquake victims to prevent human trafficking from doing greater and lifelong damage.
If a family’s house burns down, or a breadwinner dies or becomes unable to work, or some other sudden tragedy affects the community, WPC Nepal comes alongside to helo. In Nepal, that kind of help is an effective barrier against human trafficking.
We also counsel men and women who are considering work overseas because of the lack of opportunity in Nepal. While there are legitimate avenues for Nepalis who want to work in other countries, this is also a prime source for illegal labor trafficking.
Our efforts led to the takedown of a major trafficking network when one woman who had been through our awareness program spotted the warning signs of human trafficking and alerted authorities. Read more of Nisha’s triumphant story.
4. Provide Women with In-Demand Job Skills
This addresses the broken family root cause as well as poverty. Many women have been divorced or bereaved of their husbands. Others have been abused and had to flee. Others have simply been abandoned.
With poor educations and no job skills, they have no way out. Desperation. Vulnerability. Seeing the pattern?
WPC Nepal runs a 6-month vocational training program that teaches tailoring and how to launch a business or get a job. Each year, 20-25 women go through this course, and many now earn enough income to support their families. Here’s one example.
This vocational program prevents human trafficking by empowering women with in-demand job skills. Some women even get paid to teach their new skills to others! The effect is spreading.
Take the Pop Quiz and learn more about our vocational program.
5. Provide a Safe Home for Kids Out of Options
Some kids still have families who love them, but just need help sending them to school.
But other kids have nowhere to go. They’ve been abandoned and wander the streets. Their parents may have died from AIDS or a civil war that ravaged the country in the 2000s. Some have been abused and ran away to escape. Others were disowned. Some were even sold by their own families into trafficking.
The stories are brutal.
WPC’s 60-bed safe home gives these kids a place to live. It is staffed 24 hours a day, and provides all the basic necessities of life – including friendship with other kids and loving house parents. In 2018, with the help of many generous donors, WPC Nepal opened their brand-new 5-story home.