Islamabad, Nov 10:To undertake preventive and protective measures to address the issue of human trafficking in women and children, the Federal Ministry of Human Rights has established a cell aimed at providing phsycho-social support of the victims and taking measures for reintegration of trafficking victims in the society.
According to 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, government of Pakistan is making significant effort to address the issue by increasing investigations, prosecutions and convictions of trafficking but it fails to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.
The government has amended its national strategic framework against trafficking in persons and human smuggling to extend it through 2020 and has ratified the UN convention on the rights of the Child Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict.
At provincial level, Sindh government has adopted a law prohibiting bonded labour and both Sindh and Punjab governments had passed legislation criminalizing child sex trafficking and forced labour with sufficiently stringent sentences. In November 2016, the province of Balochistan passed legislation establishing District Child Protection Units charged with providing case management and ensuring abused children including trafficking victims receive appropriate government services.
The government of Punjab opened its first wholly-integrated women shelter for victims of violence and Sindh increased its budget for shelters. Punjab has reported that it has identified and removed approximately 79,000 children working in brick kilns, some of whom may be victims of bonded labour.
However, the efforts remain inadequate as compared to the magnitude of the issue. Pakistan is 9th among the top 10 countries with the highest risk of modern slavery with estimated 2.13million men, women and children (1.13 per cent of the total population) living in modern slavery as compared to the neighbouring country India which tops the list with 18.4 million population of modern slaves.
In a recent training of media persons organized by International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in Baku, Azerbaijan, it was shared that Pakistan is a destination as well as a transit country for human trafficking.
Published by Daily The News on Nov 10, 2017