TIP Award Year:
Tek Narayan Kunwar was a district court judge in the Makwanpur district of Nepal before coming to his present position as a district court judge in Lalitpur. Nepal's anti-trafficking statute is titled the Human Trafficking and Transportation Control Act (HTTCA), and it was passed in 2007. Despite the passage of the law, its implementation is limited. That is why judges like TN Kunwar are so incredibly important to combating human trafficking. During his time at the Makwanpur District Court, he created and instituted a system that was intended to decrease the amount of time a survivor was forced to wait before their case came before the bench. He intentionally sought out cases under the Act, and allowed victims to choose a court date. Keeping in mind the way a survivor must feel while bringing a case to court, he intentionally held hearings at regular intervals so that survivors would know, at every step, what was happening in their case. He was the first judge to order restitution to be paid to a survivor by the government, in May 2013, and has consistently handed down severe sentences for traffickers. He has written extensively on human trafficking and other human rights issues, and been published in a variety of places. In 2013, he was named a the Best Performing Judge of the year by the Judicial Council of Nepal.
In the 2014 TIP Report, Nepal was listed as a Tier 2 country. It is a source, destination, and transit country for both forced labor and sex trafficking. Nepali women are trafficked internally, and into the surrounding countries. Bonded labor is still utilized in some industries, similar to India. The government made some improvements, such as indicting corrupt officials, and providing new ways of prosecuting and investigating traffickers, but both victim identification and assistance need improvement.
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