Anti-Human Trafficking in Kathmandu & Pokhara


The Nepal earthquake 2015 that was a devastating one has also resulted in massive migration from rural villages to the cities, and particularly girls and women, looking for better livelihoods, ended up being engaged in the entertainment sector like Dohori, restaurants, dance bars, massage parlors, and cabin-style restaurants. Several researches conducted have revealed that the number of cabin restaurants and dance bars in Nepal is growing at an alarming rate, with clear links to trafficking and child prostitution. Such studies called for rehabilitation, educational and skill training opportunities for the young people, alternative employment, better support networks, and protection mechanisms.

According to the government report, the earthquake killed over 9,000 people and injured more than 23,000. Hundreds of thousands of people became homeless. As a result of the earthquake, a large number of girls and women travel to the main cities of Nepal like Kathmandu in search of a better job in the Adult Entertainment sector like Dohori, Dance Bar, Cabin types Restaurants and Massage Parlor also.  Large numbers of youth are engaged in the sector after the 2015 earthquake. Many girls and women are facing different kinds of problems like sexual abuse, internal and external exploitation, and are being trafficked. Addressing such kinds of problems OVN has been working through the project entitled “Promoting Youth Power Against Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation” since 2020 with the financial support of the Good Shepherd International Foundation.  The overall goal of the project is to empower young people and promote their meaningful engagement to leave the entertainment sector and to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children and young people through a range of innovative approaches.

Addressing such kinds of problems OVN has been working through the project entitled “Promoting Youth Empowerment against Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation in Nepal” since 2016 with the financial support of Good Shepherd International Foundation. This project aims at addressing the issue of sexual exploitation and human trafficking in the cities and rural areas of Pokhara and Kathmandu. It intends to eradicate the stigma, which workers in the entertainment sector like dance bars, cabin restaurants, and Dohori Sanjh and to help the women and young girls who want to leave the sector through the provision of vocational training, job placements, and microcredit schemes.


Empower young people and promote their meaningful engagement to leave the entertainment sector and to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children and young people through a range of innovative approaches.

Objectives of the Project

  • To make young women and girls currently engaged exploited in the entertainment sector and at risk of human trafficking economically independent.
  • To help them overcome the trauma they suffered because of exploitative experiences in the entertainment sector.
  • To rehabilitate women and children who have been victims of human trafficking through the creation of safe spaces where the children can get education and women overcome their traumas and start planning for their future.
  • To ensure meaningful participation of women and girls survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation in community-based programmes and promote policy change, their recovery and reintegration through advocacy and awareness campaigns.

Geographic Focus

Kaski and Kathmandu Valley (with focus in Kathmandu Metropolitan City)

Beneficiaries outreach/Target

It is expected that by the end of the project period, 570 youths currently involved in the entertainment sector and at high risk of sexual exploitation will be provided with an alternative and transformative life change path, through holistic empowerment intervention. Similarly, the project has targeted to reach out to around 2000 people in the communities (children and youth, local social and religious leaders, women’s groups, teachers and parents, government employees, political leaders.) through community awareness and advocacy campaigns.

Major Intervention

  • Shelter with Comprehensive Services for Girls in the Entertainment Sector 
  • Rehabilitation/Reintegration Support
  • Psychosocial and medical/primary health services
  • Youth Micro Project-IGA 
  • Vocational Training and Micro Job placement 
  • Business Start-up Support 
  • Community Awareness Campaign 
  • In-house and Community activities
  • Capacity Building Training (life skill, leadership, etc.)
  • Advocacy  and Networking
  • Youth Campaign

Major Achievement

  • Project has reached out to the 142 youths in Kaski and Kathmandu through its different interventions. 
  • The project contributed to the operation of safe homes in Pokhara and Kathmandu which has been supportive in all aspects. 
  • The interventions of the project not only supported in making duty-bearers accountable and responsible towards the issue but also ensured involvement of youths in different steps of project implementation along with their empowerment, while creating opportunities of rehabilitation and reintegration to the ones who needed the most.

  • In total 22 youths benefited directly from the vocational training support whereas 6 youths received support for vocational through referral and 17 youths working in entertainment sectors were supported to start the micro business.

  • The project team has been able to rescue 3 youth from the sexually exploitative situation through the home visit and support of Peer Support Group.

  • 15 youths in difficult situations have been reintegrated into their families.

  • Through safe homes operating in Kathmandu and Pokhara, 29 beneficiaries have received comprehensive services (including day shelter) toward leading an independent, empowered, and skillful life.

  • The owners of entertainment sectors are found to be registering their business and are also making sure that children are not employed in their business.

  • Interaction with police, ward people and business owners has supported in developing a positive attitude toward youths working in the entertainment sector.

  • The project has established an effective working relationship with government offices, alliances, and entertainment business owners.

  • Regular interaction programs with entertainment sector business owners & awareness sessions to youths have contributed in paradigm shift at some level (especially asking labor contracts, demanding for minimum labor wage as specified by labor law etc.).

  • Some of the youths have been successful enough in receiving minimum wages as defined by the Labour Act of Nepal apart from ensuring job contracts and identity cards.