ISLAMABAD: The Danish government on Monday signed a $1.6 million partnership agreement with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), a UN migration agency in Pakistan, which would assist Pakistan in building capacity to check human trafficking.

Under the agreement, Denmark will provide funds to implement a comprehensive and coordinated response to combat trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in Pakistan.

The partnership agreement was signed by Danish ambassador Lis Rosenholm and IOM Chief of Mission in Pakistan Mio Sato, at the Danish Embassy in Islamabad.

IOM, in close partnership with the Federal Investigation Agency, will implement a range of activities to prevent human smuggling in Pakistan as well as ensuring protection of victims of these organised crimes.

IOM Pakistan has closely aligned all project activities with the priorities of the FIA as outlined in their National Action Plan (2021-2025) to combat the trafficking.

Signs $1.6m partnership agreement with UN agency in Pakistan

Over a period of three years, IOM would strengthen technical capacities of relevant stakeholders’ immigration and border management officials to prevent irregular migration. IOM would work closely with vulnerable populations to encourage regular migration as opposed to irregular migration and provide direct assistance to victims of TIP and SOM, enabling them to sustainably reintegrate into the society.

The Ambassador of Denmark, Lis Rosenholm, expressed her appreciation for the close cooperation with the FIA and IOM, and added, “Denmark’s support is in natural extension of the Danish government’s wish to work with international partners to find ways to improve the international response to challenges with irregular migration, including human trafficking and smuggling. We are even more pleased to do it now when Pakistan is facing a humanitarian and migration crisis.”

Speaking on the occasion, IOM Chief of Mission in Pakistan Mio Sato thanked the government of Denmark for their generous support towards this much-needed initiative.

Mio Sato said: “IOM looks forward to furthering cooperation with the Danish government through this project that would significantly strengthen capacities of the FIA to curb irregular migration from Pakistan in a holistic manner. We really want to address the challenges of the victims and assistance to them.”

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2021

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