Kathmandu School Of Law (KSL)
in co-operation with Center for Legal Research and Resource Development (CeLRRd)

E-Bulletin (Vol 78)

16 May 2007

Past Volumes

 

News

   

Feature Article

   

KSL announces admission opens in M.A aprograms for the academic session 2007-08.

M.A Programs:

Human Rights/ Conflict and International Humanitarian Laws

Date for submission of Application form: End week of April
 

 (for more detail click here)

News

       
World Intellectual Property Day commemorated at KSL

A one day seminar and interaction program on the occasion of 7th World Intellectual Property Day was held at KSL on 26th April 2007, on the topic 'Music and Copyright Law'. The program was organized by the Business Law Centre (BLC) of KSL. The program was basically designed to acknowledge the creativity of human minds.

The keynote speakers for the program were Assoc. Prof. Yubaraj Sangroula (Executive Director of KSL), Asst. Prof. Raj Kumar Suwal, Adjunct Prof. Nabin K. Verma, and Mr. Ram Prasad Bhattarai, Registrar, NCRO all of whom emphasized upon the importance of creativity protection of music under effective and active copyright laws.

The main guests invited for the program were students and professionals of Music Department of Kathmandu University, and law students of KSL. Two papers on the topic were presented in the second session of the program. Mr. Surendra Nepali and Mr. Prakash Maharjan were the presentators, both of whom are the LL.M. students of KSL in the Business and International Trade Law Group. Both papers highlighted upon the importance of creators of music as being necessary to hold the title of copyright, existing challenges in Nepalese copyright laws, a comparison to the international legal provisions regarding copyright, judicial trends in the issue of copyright in music in Nepal, and recommendatory approaches to address the lacunas.

Assoc. Prof. Yubaraj Sangroula emphasized on viewing copyright from three approaches, i.e. from the human rights perspective, need of the protection of substance as well as the method, and copyright challenge in the international arena from the perspective of powerful countries vs. powerless countries. Guest speaker, Mr. Ram Prasad Bhattarai, highlighted upon the insufficiency of Nepalese copyright laws and also lack of expert legal professionals to bargain in the international platform in favour of Nepal to check and protect Nepal's copyright products. Adjunct Prof. Nabin K. Verma, gave a strong message of putting a complete halt to the infringement of copyright laws by ourselves if we want to begin with something substantial in this field. Asst. Prof. Raj Kumar Suwal and Prof. Madhav Prasad Acharya, chairman of the program, equally laid importance on each and everyone being aware of the rights and duties if we are to respect copyright of the creators.

It would be interesting to note that one of the leading daily papers of Nepal mentioned about 60% of the legal professionals did not know about intellectual property right. So, a big challenge in the sector of intellectual property right is posed before Nepal, as a developing country to address the increasing demand of the global developments.

With participants at the latter most part of the session opining their queries regarding the topic for discussion, each were very comprehensively addressed by the speakers of the program. Thus, in a nutshell, the program ended on a very fruitful note, especially as the participants expressed their desire to contribute in the noble cause of 'encouraging and protecting creativity of one and all'.

- Antara Singh, LL.B. Second Year (Rapporteur/MC of the Program)

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Demonstration on Electoral Systems

KSL is organizing a day long demonstration on Electoral Systems on 15th June 07. The demonstration will be held at KSL to educate political activists, civil educators, NGO workers on Constituent Assembly and different methods of election system including balloting and counting. The program also aims to sensitize visitors about proportional electoral system and its importance in securing inclusivity.

Entry is open for all interested visitors.

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Participation in International Course

Promotion and Development Officer of KSL Mr. Pradeep Pathak attended the international course on Corruption, Human Rights and Access to Information organized by Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) from 23-27 April 2007 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The course was aimed at international human rights and development workers (NGO, UN), and civil servants whose work involves human rights and the rule of law.

The objective of the course was to provide participants with an introduction to the phenomenon of corruption, definitions, consequences, and linkage to human rights, with a special focus on developing countries. The other objective was to explore strategies for reducing and combating corruption, with a special focus on international development and human rights. The course also focused on the freedom of access to information as a precondition for preventing and revealing corruption and maladministration. It emphasized on freedom of access to information as a crucial element in the implementation and promotion of human rights and in combating corruption.

The first day of the program was organized at Danida Fellowship Centre which was concentrated on developing shared understanding of the concept of corruption, international legal framework and human rights impacts of corruption.

Likewise, the second day program was focused on the Right to Access to Information. During this program, the discussion was made on the importance of the right to access to information, and the roles of public administration, national human rights institutions, the judiciary and civil society in preventing and combating corruption. Nepal's Right to Information Bill, 2006 was put on discussion in the latter session. Mr. Pathak made an observation on the progressive features of the Bill and the potential it has to provide the framework for a very progressive right to information in Nepal. He also mentioned on the provisions which still need further improvement. He focused on the failure of the Bill to provide for promotional measures, a record management system or protection of whistleblowers. 

The third day program was focused on anti-corruption tools and institutions. On the before lunch session Mr. Pathak presented on the legal framework, institutions and tools for anti-corruption interventions in Nepal. During his presentation, he shared the problems of measuring corruption, attempts made in Nepal to devise the counter corruption mechanism, evolution of the counter corruption law and counter corruption legislation before and after Democracy in 1990. He also observed the performance of CIAA after the enactment of new counter corruption acts in 2002. He also presented the recent initiatives taken by the government and challenges of anti-corruption efforts in Nepal.

This session and many case studies produced in the latter sessions facilitated the participants with tools for developing anti-corruption programming and activities in their organizations’ or institutions’ work. During the program, a visit to the Danish Ombudsman was arranged to impart practical information on the role and function of the Ombudsman institution in relation to prevention of corruption.

Altogether 15 people representing UNDP, OHCHR, International Human Rights Organization, Anti-corruption Bureau, Law Reform Council, Academic Institutions and line ministries from Asia, Europe and Africa participated in the program


Participants of the program

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Feature Article

 

 

 

 

Trafficking in Women and Girls: With Special Reference to Countries in South Asia

Dimension of the Trafficking Problem

As UNIFEM (1998:1) in a report rightly observed, “trafficking in women and children is a spreading and worsening global phenomenon. Millions of human beings are trafficked and exploited worldwide largely into global sex industry”. Trafficking is estimated to generate gross earnings of between 5 and 7 billion US dollars annually (UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, 1998:3). Undoubtedly, the problem of trafficking is increasing rapidly threatening the very fabric of the human civilization. The intensified economic globalization has increased the mobility of capital, commodities, information and people. The world has reduced to a smaller village in terms of accessibility and contact. The sex market has grown to operate in a global scale with increased sophistication and organized networks. And in this market are ending up millions of women and girls from poor and developing countries. Trafficking of women and girls is therefore no longer a ‘local phenomenon’. Sexual exploitation is no longer a matter of ‘traditional patter of women’s subordination’; it is rather an industry.

 

Global Figure of Trafficked Persons:

Trafficking is an undercover or clandestinely organized phenomenon. It is thus very difficult to find accurate data as to how many people are annually trafficked internally and internationally. According to a US Government estimate, based on 1997 figures, annually 700,000 persons are trafficked across the international borders worldwide (Miko and Park 2002). The table below gives a scenario of minimum number of people trafficked away from one country another annually.

Origin of Trafficked Persons

Minimum Number of persons trafficked away annually

Number

Percent

South East Asia

225,000

32.14

Former Soviet Union and Eastern and Central Europe

175,000

25.00

South Asia

1,50,000

21.43

Latin America and Caribbean

100,000

14.29

Africa

50,000

7.14

Source: Miko and Park, 2002.

According to an estimate of the International Organization on Migration (IOM, 2001), size of trafficking of persons annually across international borders is between 700,000 and 2 million. The number of trafficked persons would be much larger if the figures of internally trafficked persons are included (UNPF, 2003:3). Internal trafficking exists phenomenal in many smaller countries such as Nepal, Thailand, and Colombia, etc. However, the accurate figure is difficult to find (UNPF, 2003:3).

Countries affected by cross-border trafficking

A large number of studies show that ‘poor and developing’ countries in South and South East Asia, states in former Soviet Union, East and Central Europe and South America most severely affected by trafficking across the international border. While the problem of internal trafficking is pervasive all through out the world, the smaller poor and developing countries most vulnerable to transnational trafficking. Thousands of women from these countries end up every year ‘brothels’ of metropolitan cities of developed or big countries. The regional distribution of the problem as found as follows:

South East Asia: As the table above shows nearly one third of the cross-border trafficked persons comes from the South East Asia. Countries like China, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and the Philippines are major countries of origin in this region for cross-border trafficking. Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines are the countries that maintain huge sex market internally as well. As a matter of fact, these countries are major destinations for sex tourism from the western developed countries as well as the rich gulf countries. As one UNPF (2003:3) reports claims, the growth of sex tourism in this region is one of the main contributing  factors for trafficking in women and girls. Countries in the South East Asia constitute place of origin as well as destination of trafficked persons for each other. Trafficking trend analysis of this region shows that while a huge number of women and girls prostituting in the Thai sex market are trafficked from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, China and Cambodia are destinations for trafficking of women and girls from Vietnam. On the other hand, Japan is a destination for trafficking of women and girls from Thailand and the Philippines. According to Thailand’s Foreign Ministry’s estimate, 50,000 Thai women were living in 1994 illegally in Japan working in prostitution. This situation of Thai prostitutes parallels in Japan with that of Burmese women held in Thailand. Thai women in countries like Switzerland and Germany also have considerable number in prostitution. Similarly, newly industrializing nations such as Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong are other important destinations of trafficking from South East Asian countries.  

As reported by UNPF(2003:3), international criminal gangs are involved in trafficking away women and girls from China, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam to western Europe, the United States, Australia and the Middle East. Women and girls from Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia are trafficked to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates mainly for domestic service work and to become brides.

South Asia: South Asia is one of economically most backward regions. As suggested by intelligent estimate, 150,000 women and girls are trafficked to big countries in the region such as India and Pakistan as well as overseas. While women and girls from Nepal are trafficked to a number of cities in India, Pakistan is the destination for a large number of women and girls from Bangladesh. As reported by UNPF (2003:4), while India a major destination for women and girls from Nepal and Bangladesh, it is also a transit and sending country for women and girls to Europe and Gulf countries. Besides India, Nepalese women and girls are trafficked to Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are major destinations fro women from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri-Lanka. India and Pakistan are thus both the receiving and sending countries.

Former Soviet Union and Eastern and Central Europe: Countries in the former Soviet Union and Eastern and Central Europe is part of the world worse hit by the problem of cross-border trafficking after South East Asia. The breakdown of the Soviet Union and fall down of the autocratic communist regime in this part of the world accompanied by terrible economic decline is attributed to the massive upsurge of the problem of cross-border trafficking. As reported by UNPF (2003:4), over 175, 000 women and girls are annually trafficked from this region. Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom, Japan, Israel, Canada, United States and Thailand are identified as major destinations. According to UNPF, organized criminal gangs operating from Russia, Albania, Estonia, Chechnya, Serbia and Italy are active for trafficking in women and girls in Europe. It is said that the Russian organized criminal gangs are enormously strong and control the commercial sex market of number of Western countries, Israel and parts of the United States. <click here to read more>

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Kathmandu School of Law          / Telephone : 977-01-634455/6634663, 2042268
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