In response to the April and May 2015 earthquakes, IOM played an active role in supporting protection monitoring and interventions in displacement sites and among communities in earthquake affected districts. Overcrowded settlement sites and displacement in open spaces increased the vulnerability, particularly among girls and women, of gender-based violence (GBV) including potential risks of human trafficking and unsafe migration.

IOM is working to ensure that earthquake affected communities have access to information and protection-related services including referrals of protection cases to specialized services. IOM organized awareness raising campaigns and produced targeted information materials reaching over 32,000 individuals disseminating key messages on the risks of GBV, human trafficking, smuggling and unsafe migration.

IOM also conducts capacity building sessions to government counterparts including Women and Children Development Office and Nepal Police, international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These sessions seek to develop a common understanding of the main protection issues and strengthen national protection referral mechanisms among key service providers at the district and village development committee (VDC) levels.

As protracted vulnerability can exacerbate hazards of human rights violations, IOM will continue to support the recovery and resilience building of affected communities through strengthening referral mechanisms, awareness raising campaigns and the restoration of livelihoods for vulnerable groups.