Study the behaviour of returnee sex workers from India to assess its impact on HIV situation and design a package to deliver prevention, treatment and care services

    Funding mechanism: Programme Acceleration Fund (PAF), UNAIDS

    Project budget:
    35,637 USD


      1. To assess the size of Nepali-origin sex workers in India as well as their distribution geographically and typologically;

      2. To assess HIV prevalence among returnee sex workers; and

      3. To assess the behavioural pattern of returnees to Nepal to improve understanding of the dynamics of HIV transmission in Nepal.

Key activities

    An estimated 200,000 to 250,000 Nepalese girls are believed to work in the sex industry in India. Among them, 5,000 to 7,000 girls between the ages of 10 and 20 are being trafficked into India each year (Human Rights Watch, 1995). In 2007 Nepal estimated an approximate return rate to Nepal of 14.5 per cent.

    The mapping of interventions targeted at sex workers and most-at-risk populations in Nepal only covers those working in the country. This project aims to fill the knowledge gap about returnee sex workers. The study will address the following questions:

  • Who are the returnee sex workers from India to Nepal, why do they return and where do they settle after return?
  • What are their problems in rehabilitation and reintegration in Nepal, especially among those trafficked?
  • What are additional challenges for HIV prevention, care and support services in view of the needs of returnee sex workers?

Key activities include:

  • Conducting a national consultation to review existing literature on returnee sex workers;
  • Preparing terms of reference and a detailed study protocol;
  • Conducting a qualitative assessment in India on Nepalese sex workers with a survey of returnee sex workers in Nepal; and
  • Disseminating the findings through a national workshop to develop a relevant HIV response.