Last week U.S. and Nepali officials commenced a series of meetings to negotiate the terms of a Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership, a non binding, multi-year comprehensive plan to address child sex trafficking and forced child labor in Nepal. The partnership includes a planned initial investment of up to $10 million in targeted U.S. foreign assistance to combat human trafficking of Nepali children. This U.S. foreign assistance will be available to civil society organizations and/or international organizations to support implementation of the Partnership’s plan. This will be the U.S. government’s eighth CPC Partnership and the first with a South Asian nation.
Nepali entities that have responsibility for anti-trafficking efforts will participate in the discussions, including the Ministry of Women, Children, and Senior Citizens, the National Child Rights Council, the Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Social Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau, and the National Human Rights Commission. The U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) will lead for the United States.
The Partnership will build on current Government of Nepal and civil society efforts to combat child trafficking. The TIP Office will look to the Government of Nepal to contribute resources, including in-kind assistance, to ensure that the partnership goals are met and that improvements are sustainable after the partnership ends. Discussions between the two governments will include potential partnership objectives and implementation strategies to improve the Government of Nepal’s capacity to:
- investigate and prosecute cases of child trafficking;
- identify and respond to instances of forced child labor and child sex trafficking;
- provide comprehensive services to protect child trafficking victims; and
- prevent future child trafficking crimes.
Discussions will also include setting CPC indicators and targets for collecting performance data, which will be used to assess progress made through this joint effort and lay the groundwork for long-term sustainability.
The TIP Office is responsible for leading the United States’ global engagement to combat human trafficking, including producing the annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report). The 2023 TIP Report noted that the Government of Nepal did not fully meet the minimum standards for addressing human trafficking but was making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, including increasing investigations and identifying more trafficking victims. The government also approved a new regulation to increase protections for victims of crime, including human trafficking survivors.
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