About the Project
Nepal is a source country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Nepali women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking in Nepal, India, and the Middle East as well as forced labor in Nepal and India as domestic servants, beggars, factory workers, mine workers, and in the adult entertainment industry. They are trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor to other Asian destinations, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, and South Korea. The Chinese district of Khasa on the border with Nepal is an emerging sex trafficking destination for Nepali women and girls.
The scale of trafficking in persons from Nepal is unknown. The government reports that it assisted 438 females in government-funded shelters in FY 2010-2011, although the authorities did not indicate whether these women were victims of trafficking or victims of other forms of abuse. Existing literature as well as our own research in Nepal suggests that numerous anti-trafficking programs have been established in the country, including initiatives that have received a lot of international attention such as Maiti Nepal; programs supported by the US Federal Government and executed by ILO-IPEC and INGOs; efforts undertaken by the Swiss Foundation of Terre des homes (TDH); International Organization for Migration (IOM); and last but not least initiatives undertaken by local Nepali NGOs, usually with international financial support.
The Rural Health and Education Services Trust (RHEST) has been providing educational and health services to Nepalese girls they deem ‘vulnerable’ and ‘at-risk’ for domestic violence, sexual abuse, early marriage, and trafficking since 1992. RHEST has served 10,000 girls—mainly from the Dalit and Janjati communities--since then. RHEST posits that educated girls are more valuable to their families and therefore less vulnerable and at a lesser risk for trafficking.
With funding from Humanity United, Dr. Elzbieta Gozdziak is evaluating the Stop Girl Trafficking program to:
- Provide RHEST with a systematic understanding of the perceptions of SGT participants, families, and communities regarding what is valuable about the program;
- Provide RHEST with an understanding of how program delivery may be adjusted to achieve desired outcomes;
- Provide RHEST guidance and technical assistance on what data the SGT program would need to collect if they would like to see the program undergo a more rigorous evaluation in the future.
The goal of the evaluation is to understand the SGT model and how it is being implemented through examining program participants and program activities, services, models and outputs. Additionally, the funder is interested in identification of outcomes from a qualitative approach and key lessons learned.
The evaluation includes a survey of 250 households in five different localities: Kathmandu, Kaski, Syangja, Makwanpur, and Chitwan. Three types of households have been surveyed: current program beneficiaries; program gradates; and control group of girls from households of similar socio-economic characteristics. The survey was conducted by New ERA, a research company in Kathmandu. The qualitative assessment included a series of interviews with program staff and several focus groups with current beneficiaries.
Collection of data has been completed. We are currently analyzing survey results. Stay tuned for preliminary findings in the next few weeks.The final evaluation report will be published in 2014.