ISLAMABAD: Launching a National Action Planto combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling marked the commemoration of ‘World Day against Trafficking in Persons’ in Pakistan on Friday, with the commitment from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to expediting efforts to bring traffickers to justice while protecting and supporting their victims.
The plan adopted by the governmentwas launched at a seminar in Islamabad. The plan provides a comprehensive coordination framework for all stakeholders tasked with addressing trafficking in persons.
Speaking on the occasion UNODC Representative in Pakistan, Dr Jeremy Milsom said that the rights of victims must come first – be they the victims of traffickers, smugglers, or of modern form of slavery or exploitation.
Almost every country has national human trafficking laws, yet people continue to be trafficked most of them women and girls.He appreciated the progress made in Pakistan by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), in tackling human trafficking, through implementation of the ‘Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 2018’ and its rules, and the National Action Plan to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
FIA Director-General Sanaullah Abbasi while speaking at the seminar, said that FIA and UNODC have been partners for more than a decade to curb human trafficking and migrants smuggling, and through this partnership we have achieved many goals including the enactment of laws on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in 2018. The partnership will further help FIA to build its capacity to fight the menace of human trafficking, he said.
UNODC informed the seminar that it is also implementing a four-year 12 million euros joint ‘Global Action Against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants’ programme in Asia and Middle East in association with the European Union and being implemented in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in five countries: Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Bangladesh.
In another event, also organised by UNODC, a two-year “Combating Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Pakistan” project was launched. Funded by the Canadian government, the project is a coordinated response to trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants and aims to strengthen the capacity of FIA for its fight against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2021