ISLAMABAD: World Day against Human Trafficking is celebrated every year on 30th July to show solidarity towards the victims of human trafficking and encourage the states to take concrete steps towards curbing heinous crime of trafficking in persons.
Thousands of men, women and children fall prey to trafficking networks every year in Pakistan. The government of Pakistan over the years has shown significant improvement, yet a lot needs to be done.
This year with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s efforts, Pakistan was finally able to enact law on Trafficking in Persons (TIP). With the passage of new comprehensive law, “Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance” is repealed.
The new TIP law specifically sets out provision to protect and non-criminalize victims, awards grave punishments to offenders specially in case of women and children and sets out provisions to raise awareness at stakeholder and public level.
Cesar Guedes, Country Representative UNODC Pakistan expresses his solidarity with the victims of trafficking and appreciates steps taken by the Government of Pakistan to tackle it. On this day he has reiterated to the international community to join hands.
He said that “International community must join hands to combat trafficking in persons in a comprehensive manner. There is a need to transform institutions and relevant stakeholders and put people at center of Public Service. We need to mobilize the international community to empower the institutions to become innovative in their approach”.
UNODC’s Country Office Pakistan (COPAK) is providing technical assistance to Pakistan in terms of capacity building of the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) Personnel through its specialized curricula designed for prosecutors and investigators and provision of operational equipment.
One of the significant components of COPAK in terms of Trafficking in Persons is related to promoting and supporting regional cooperation for information, joint training and operational collaboration between regional and international counterpart agencies. UNODC will continue its assistance to the Government of Pakistan with a resolve to end Trafficking in Persons.
This year Pakistan has also been upgraded to “Tier-2” from “Watch-list” by the United States Department of State. As per US State Department, Pakistan has demonstrated increasing efforts in curbing Trafficking in Persons this year which resulted in upgradation to Tier-2.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which is the lead Agency to control Trafficking in Persons in Pakistan is working tirelessly on the issue.
FIA has designed its “Strategic Framework to Combat Human Trafficking and Migrants Smuggling (2015-2020)”. The framework outlines five strategic objectives (5Ps); Prevent, Protect, Partnership, Pursue and Prosecute.
While all the strategic objectives are equally important and are interlinked, the framework is more victims focused.
UNODC remains committed, within the limits of its mandate, to the Government of Pakistan and other relevant stakeholders, to provide all necessary support required to ensure that organized criminal networks are dismantled and that traffickers and migrant smugglers are brought to justice. DNA