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Nepal minister rescues four trafficking victims
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(Kathmandu, Sept. 16)
A chance encounter between a Nepali delegation headed by a minister and four Nepali women in New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport saved the women from being trafficked to Kuwait.
The delegation, led by Nepali minister Urmila Arryal, was returning from a study trip to Kabul when they became suspicious at the sight of a vulnerable-looking group huddling desolately in the busy airport. After questioning the group, which included a nursing mother, the delegation learnt that the quartet were being taken to Kuwait to work as housemaids even though Nepal has banned its woman from working as domestic help in Gulf countries. The group had apparently been left in the lurch by the broker and at Ms Arryal's initiative, they were taken to the Nepali embassy in Delhi. The ministry of labour and transport management has been asked to look into the incident and arrest the culprits.
India is a major route for trafficking Nepali women to the Gulf countries. Since Nepalis do not require a visa to travel to India, unscrupulous touts flout the ban by luring victims to India. From there, some are sent to destinations in the Gulf where they are often sexually abused and maltreated. Others are left in the lurch in Indian cities after the touts collect their fee from the victims. To pay the touts, people often mortgage their land or borrow money at heavy interest rates.