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Human trafficking linked to Nepalese officials, politicians

world Updated: Jun 15, 2010 20:51 IST

Human trafficking-related complicity by government officials was a serious problem in Nepal, according to a US report which expressed concern that there were no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of those linked to the crime.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who released the 10th Annual Trafficking in Persons Report in Washington D.C., called it "a catalogue of tragedies that the world cannot continue to accept."

"Trafficking-related complicity by government officials remained a serious problem in Nepal, with traffickers using ties to politicians, business persons, state officials, police, customs officials, and border police to facilitate trafficking," the State Department's annual report released yesterday said.

"Despite these serious concerns, there were no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in trafficking," it states.

India and Gulf countries are the major destinations of Nepalese girls and women being trafficked to foreign countries for sex trade.

The US report recommends Nepal government to increase law enforcement efforts against all types of trafficking and against government officials who are complicit in trafficking; institute a formal procedure to identify victims of trafficking and refer them to protection services, according to a US embassy statement.

Clinton, who has made women's and children's rights a signature issue, said "human trafficking crosses cultures and continents."

The top US diplomat said she has met survivors of trafficking and their families, along with brave men and women in both the public and the private sector who have stood up against this terrible crime. "All of us have a responsibility to bring this practise to an end."

At the same time, the US praised Nepal's effort to control trafficking despite resource constraints. The government has made significant efforts to prosecute traffickers despite limited resources, the Report said.

Nepal maintained its status as a 'Tier 2 country', according to the report that raises trafficking-related complicity by government officials.

Countries shown to have a significant number of trafficking victims are assigned to one of three tiers.

This year's report included for the first time a section on the United States, according to the statement.