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Rethinking Child Trafficking in Nepal: Victimhood, Agency and Beyond

Dhakal Adhikari, Shovita (2018) Rethinking Child Trafficking in Nepal: Victimhood, Agency and Beyond. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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The thesis sets out to critically analyse the national responses to child trafficking in Nepal. This has been approached by exploring: (1) the changing dimensions of child trafficking in Nepal and the reasons for the perpetuation of trafficking vulnerabilities; (2) the development of legislative approaches to child trafficking; and (3) the limits encountered in anti-trafficking interventions. The thesis situates the national responses to child trafficking within the existing debates on ‘children’s rights’, the universal notion of ‘childhood’, and ‘cultural relativism’. This facilitates an investigation into the applicability of the international human rights framework to the reality of specific socio-economic situations. Despite deploying a human rights standard in legislations and policies, there is very little evidence to suggest that the international human rights approach has been effectively applied in practice in Nepal. There are several persistent challenges for comprehensive responses to child trafficking in the country. The simultaneous use of two frameworks – the ‘victimhood’ and ‘agency’ approaches – has resulted in conflicting conceptualisations of trafficking vulnerabilities and variations in practices. The thesis suggests that it is crucial to rethink the child trafficking phenomenon and the approaches to interventions in Nepal. Trafficking of children is linked to broader problems facing the protection of children—such as child migration, children living in institutional care, livelihood opportunities for children, and working children, among others. It is argued that, in order to protect the rights of all vulnerable children, the focus cannot be restricted to anti-trafficking interventions. Unless the policies and programmes are integrated within broader issues of child protection, children will continue to become victims of trafficking and other forms of exploitation. The research calls for an alternative way of embedding interventions within communities so as to protect children from discrimination, abuse, and exploitation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Shovita Dhakal Adhikari
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2018 09:38
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2021 01:00

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