Nepal Earthquake Anniversary: Lessons to Fight Traffickers in Disaster Zones

It's been a year since the 2015 Nepal earthquake killed thousands and left large parts of the country in ruins. One of the key tragedies of the quake's aftermath is that human traffickers preyed on desperate and vulnerable Nepalis, causing a rise in slavery cases.

A slavery spike is common in crisis zones. So Free the Slaves has teamed-up with Nepali and international partners to develop recommendations that can guide future earthquake response efforts worldwide.

The team found that simple steps can make a huge difference--such as handing out trafficking-prevention information at the same place people line up to get tents and food. Or making sure that community activists are included in strategy meetings at a national, regional and local level. Read the full research report here.

The courageous staffers of Free the Slaves and our front-line partner organizations in Nepal were quick to respond to the earthquake situation - even though they had suffered devastating losses themselves. One organization, GMSP, lost its headquarters and was forced to work from tents. Read more about their selfless dedication here.

Our thoughts are with our team members and everyone in Nepal on this one year anniversary of the earthquake. They are a remarkable inspiration of resilience. Meet our team in the videos below, produced just a few weeks before the earthquake struck.

Our teams were successful in alerting community members in the quake zone to the risks. In one case, traffickers posing as relief workers had already spirited several children away from a rural village. Thankfully, our partners were able to rescue the children and reunite them with their families. Read the full story here.

Perhaps one of the most lasting accomplishments of the Free the Slaves team in Nepal in the year since the earthquake is the government's decision to ban slavery in the country's new constitution. Our partners had been advocating with Nepali officials to take this action for years. Nepal's new constitution puts it in the vanguard of nations that are establishing progressive legal frameworks to bring human trafficking to an end. Read more here.