Thousands of Nepalis have petitioned their government to adopt the world’s primary anti-trafficking treaty. Nepali anti-slavery groups supported by Free the Slaves have mobilized impressive grassroots support for the “Palermo Protocol.”
The protocol’s official name is the “United Nations Protocol to Prevent and Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons.” The name says it all. Countries that adopt this pact commit to combating slavery and helping survivors rebuild their lives. So far, 146 countries have signed. But Nepal, which was suffering under civil war, has lagged behind.
The petition – and street rallies to show that fighting slavery is important to Nepali citizens – was organized by the Alliance Against Trafficking in Women and Children in Nepal, a coalition supported by Free the Slaves.
“It is an exciting milestone,” says Free the Slaves Nepal Director Neelam Sharma. “Nepalis have shown their commitment to fighting slavery,” she says.
There’s a hopeful sign that Nepal’s Parliament will adopt the Palermo Protocol. Nepal recently adopted the U.N. Convention on Transnational Organized Crime. Countries must adopt this umbrella treaty before they can ratify the anti-trafficking protocol.
You can see the frontline work of our Nepali partners in an uplifting 13-minute video called “Turning the Tide: Fighting Slavery in Nepal” below: