Prevention, Tracking, Education and Transformation (PROTECT)

The PROTECT project applies EAI's unique skillset of creating long-lasting behavior change through media to support youth and adolescents in Nepal to better protect themselves and their peers from becoming victims of human trafficking. 

Plan International

Empowering youth to prevent human trafficking in Nepal

Human trafficking in Nepal is diverse, internal, and transnational. Fewer income opportunities, unemployment, and a dream to travel abroad for higher earnings leads to youth being exposed to internal and external human trafficking risks. While human trafficking can range in forms, the most common patterns in Nepal are: sexual exploitation, forced labor, and organ removal. Reported cases of trafficking in the entertainment and hospitality sectors, in brick kilns and garment industries, and in agricultural and domestic work, all demonstrate the cross-sectoral presence of this human rights abuse. Therefore, the deception tactics used by traffickers, including fraudulent practices and fake promises, are not only common but successful.

In response to the presence and threats of human trafficking, the Prevention, Tracking, Education, and Transformation (PROTECT) project was launched by Plan International, with a goal to strengthen the prevention mechanisms against child trafficking and ensure children/youth, families, and communities are supported to reintegrate survivors safely. The project targets three districts in Nepal: Sunsari, Makawanpur, and Banke.

“Both men and woman can be victims and that encompasses not only selling women but also forced labor. Many men are also vulnerable to human trafficking whilst seeking better opportunities abroad.”


EAI designed a spin off to our most popular and longest running youth-to-youth radio program, known as Saathi Sanga Manka Kura, or SSMK.

While deploying the youth-to-youth model under the spin-off show, locally known as Maya Sanga Manka Kura, or MSMK, we changed two important pieces to better engage with our youth audience: the hosts and the platform.

Within one month of launching, MSMK had already built up a steady following of almost 4,000 youth on social media, reaching over 79,500 people.

A listener from the adolescent boys’ focus group discussion in Banke shared the MSMK Facebook page link with friends and tuned in together with them. Other participants stated that a few of their friends have started listening to the radio program regularly after following their suggestion. The participants told their friends, aunts, uncles, neighbors and grandparents to listen to MSMK; they are now also regular listeners and remind the youth to listen to the program. 

Production of a youth-to-youth radio program (MSMK)

Aimed at empowering youth between the ages of 10 and 25, MSMK discussed the dangers of human trafficking and its consequences by raising awareness and reinforcing key messages/information of Plan International’s PROTECT project.

In total, EAI reached 1.75 million vulnerable people in 17 districts in Nepal via seven radio station partners by broadcasting 45 episodes.

Mobilizing the Community

To supplement the radio series, 2 Community Reporters & Community Action Researcher trainings and 7 virtual orientation meetings were held to increase their knowledge of human trafficking as well as upskill them on the various technical components required to make MSMK a successful and popular radio program.

Measurable improvement was observed in participant interview skills, survey data collection and audio production as well as motivation to take part in further trainings. To remain adaptive, the Community Action Researchers collected ongoing feedback which helped to improve the broadcasts.

Overall, through various community mobilization lead efforts, there was extremely high audience engagement via online and offline platforms; 3,107 interactions via IVR, 3,194 youth interactions via CommCare survey, 282,114 people via MSMK’s Facebook page, 80 focus group members and stakeholders engaged with producers and evaluators.

Dissemination of Animation Series

Broadcast of 6 animation videos and 2 TV show episodes resulting in increased knowledge and awareness of human trafficking at a national level, outside of the target audience in the three PROTECT project districts and reached an audience of 6.25 million nationwide.

The animated video series titled ‘Courageous Stories of Maya and Udaya’ demonstrated how empowered youth contribute to stopping human trafficking at the community level.


PROTECT identified key impacts across three levels of the socio-economic model: the individual, the interpersonal, and the community.


  • A greater understanding of human trafficking after listening to the MSMK radio program as well as taking actions to keep family and friends safe from traffickers.
  • Improved understanding of key issues, warning signs, and preventative measures when probed.
  • Inspired by the program, youth now gather further information about trafficking from existing sources including service providers such as Maiti Nepal and UNESCO clubs.


  • Sharing of information among and beyond friends and family.
  • Families have started carrying out due diligence and planning before sending children to new cities for work, changing behaviors among family members who have been directly and/or indirectly exposed to programming.


  • Networks and associations are being established (formally and informally) at the local level, at schools and at youth clubs, to increase awareness in the community around human trafficking issues.
  • Youth forming groups to discuss the issues and actions with their peers.

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