The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Tuesday issued a list of most wanted human traffickers for the year 2018 which, for the first time, has four female entrants.
The 'Red Book of Most Wanted Human Smuggler/Traffickers' saw the number of human traffickers go up from 101 in 2017 to 112 in 2018.
Of the 112 individuals identified in the 2018 Red Book, more than half (58) are from Punjab, 34 from Islamabad, 15 from Sindh, three from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two from Balochistan.
The agency, for the first time, has added a quartet of women to its annual red book, accusing them of defrauding people through human trafficking.
The FIA said that 12 of the wanted traffickers have fled abroad, adding that it is taking assistance from the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) to apprehend them.
According to the latest Global Report on ‘Trafficking in Persons’, the number of human trafficking victims around the world is on the rise as armed groups and terrorists traffick women and children to generate funds and recruit personnel.
In Pakistan, the parliament has approved two new laws — The Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 2018 and The Prevention of Smuggling of Migrants Act 2018 — to safeguard the rights of victims of human trafficking and address the needs of smuggled migrants.
In June 2018, the legislation and other efforts to curb human trafficking saw the United States move Pakistan from its watch list to another group of countries that have taken significant steps to curb human trafficking.