‘Trafficked women returnees on a razor edge’

Life is a rough ride for many trafficked women returnees who return home empty-handed after going through a rough patch abroad and struggle to keep the wolf from the door, say researchers involved in an ongoing research project titled “Post Trafficking in Nepal: Sexuality and Citizenship in Livelihood Strategies”.

Most of the trafficked women are stigmatised as prostitutes who later feel threatened and scared at home, said Meena Poudel, a research associate at Britain-based Newcastle University. Some non-traditional jobs such as driving tempos and working as security guards, plumbers and electricians can be a better option for the victims, she said.

Prof Nina Laurie of the same university subscribes to Poudel’s argument and said that most of the returnee women have tie the knots as a livelihood strategy to manage stigma. However, this strategy fails after marriage break-up,

she said.

More than that, says another Prof Daine Richardson, trafficked women face difficulties after they return home in attaining citizenship as they are not accepted by their families.

Similarly, most of the children born in foreign countries to mothers, who were sexually exploited and whose fathers’ identity is unknown and are now living in Nepal with their mothers, are also deprived of citizenship certificates.

Poudel, Laurie and Richardson are into the two-year-long year research project being undertaken with the help of survivors of human trafficking and the stakeholders concerned in the country that will be completed in 2012.