Policy And Advocacy
Despite recent improvements in the law, Nepal’s legal system continues to discriminate against women, both in legal code and through enforcement practices. Recognized as a leading legal resource on human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Nepal, SASANE is working diligently to advocate for change within the legal system and to provide legal support to victims. SASANE has not only led groundbreaking legal cases, but has also spearheaded efforts to train government officials, NGOs, and INGOs on legal advances, casework, and procedures. SASANE is committed to ensuring that stakeholders have the necessary knowledge capacity to effectively prosecute violations and ensure that victims achieve justice.
In order to raise awareness of human trafficking and create positive change in the legal sector in Nepal, SASANE has led the following efforts:
- SASANE organized a one-day interaction program with the Law Enforcement District Agencies (police, attorneys, judges, district administration personnel, bar association lawyers, women development officers and local development officers). Altogether, 120 workers attended the program on “Human Trafficking in the Name of Foreign Employment Prevention Methods and Legal Interaction.”
- SASANE, along with Girls Not Brides Networking and other organizations, organized a 2-day strategy and planning discussion on child marriage in Nepal and how to minimize its effects. This program was attended by 200 participants.
- SASANE carried out another interaction program related to the program of the exploitation experienced by women in Dohri restaurants, cabin and dance bars. This program discussed police behavior, issues with District Committees and implementation of Supreme Court Directives to combat human rights violations and trafficking, and how to provide services to women in the entertainment industry.
- Together with Tiny Hands Nepal, SASANE organized a 15-day class for 30 border patrol officers in Latipur District. The class included information on sexual slavery, human trafficking, foreign employment, civil law, and preventative measures to protect potential victims.
- In 2010, SASANE filed a case in the Supreme Court for the release of 27 female sex workers, who had been charged with public indecency when the bar they worked in was raided by police. During the raid, which was conducted without a warrant, the police mistreated the women and failed to arrest any of their employers and clients. In addition, the media portrayed the women as criminals, with one police officer in charge of the case boasting that he would ensure every woman detained would account for her crimes. As a result of SASANE’s legal efforts, the Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of the 27 women. In a press conference after the verdict, another police officer said he would work to bring the owners and clients of the business to justice. Since SASANE’s intervention and the outcome of this case, there has been a huge alteration in the attitude of law enforcement agents in Kathmandu toward female sex workers.