Shakti Samuha is the first organization in Nepal to be established and run by survivors of trafficking.
In 1996, 500 girls and women were rescued from slavery in Indian brothels during widespread police raids. Among these were 148 Nepalese girls and women. These women were then locked away in remand homes in India, where conditions were as bad as - if not worse - than prison. The Nepalese government was reluctant to bring the women back to Nepal, claiming they would bring HIV into the country with them. In the absence of Government support, several NGOs took the lead in returning and rehabilitating the girls. Sadly, even in these rehabilitation centers, the women's treatment did not help to restore their self-esteem and basic human rights. It was only after months had passed and the women were given training in their rights, that they realized they were not to blame for being trafficked. The women felt it was time to claim their rights so they set up Shakti Samuha.
Shakti Samuha began in 1996 and was registered in the Kathmandu District Office of HMG in 2000. Since 1996 we have been organizing and empowering returning trafficking survivors by providing shelter, legal aid, vocational training and counseling. We have also set up Adolescent Girls Groups based in the poorest communities in order to pass on the message about the dangers of trafficking. Now we are reaching out to rural districts where trafficking is prevalent, helping to keep women safe and make a united stand against the traffickers.
Trafficking survivors will be empowered to lead a dignified life in society.
Trafficking survivors and women and children at risk of trafficking will be organized, empowered and aware, which will enable them to contribute to campaigns against human trafficking, protecting women and girls living in vulnerable conditions.
The goal of Shakti Samuha is to establish a progressive society, devoid of trafficking and other kinds of violence against women.
- Trafficking survivors should have the same rights and freedoms as any other member of society.
- Trafficking survivors should lead the movement against trafficking, ensuring their own rights and those of others.
- No member of Shakti Samuha shall be discriminated against in their service to the organization.
Shakti Samuha has the following objectives:
- To establish income generating and skills based programs that create a sustainable livelihood for trafficking survivors
- To advocate and lobby for necessary changes to the law
- To organize meetings and campaigns to raise awareness and minimize the risk of trafficking
- To establish safe house and emergency support for the rehabilitation and reintegration of trafficking survivors
- To manage and update data on trafficking survivors
- To assist trafficking survivors with legal, employment and counseling services.
- To coordinate with local, national and international organizations.
- To protect vulnerable girls and women from trafficking
- To organize the development of staff-members for effective program implementation.
- Repatriation, rehabilitation & reintegration
- Training & employment support
- Income generation & skill development
- Awareness raising program
- Organizational development program
- Educational Program
- Legal support & advocacy
- Female trafficking survivors
- Girls who are at risk of trafficking
- Girls and women who are working in cabin restaurants, massage parlors and dance bars
- Global Alliance Against the Trafficking of Women
- Alliance Against Trafficking in Women and Children in Nepal
- NGO Federation Nepal
- International Organization for Migration