444 Nepali women and girls who travelled to India for employment opportunities via land borders from Western Nepal are reportedly missing. According to data based on the applications submitted at the Maiti Nepal, Nepalgunj chapter, 693 applications for finding the whereabouts of missing people had been received in 2022. Of the 693, Maiti Nepal was able to locate 249 missing people, while the remaining 444 are still out of contact.
According to Keshab Koirala, Maiti Nepal Nepalgunj chapter coordinator , the organisation receives several applications round the year from family members and relatives who have been out of touch from their families. It is believed while mostly travel to India for employment, many also travel to third countries via India. Similarly, Nepalgunj chapter also returned 529 women and girls who were perceived to travelling “at risk” from the Jamunaha transit point along the Nepal-India borde rin Banke. According to Koirala, they were found to have left home without consulting with their family for employment or a trip during interrogations.
Maiti Nepal operates twelve Intervention Outposts along the Nepal-India border to prevent girls and women from being trafficked. According to Maiti Nepal, the Intervention Outposts serve as “safe houses” providing shelter for short stays, ensuring safe passage home when this is appropriate, and working with the police to apprehend traffickers.