ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi said that Pakistan was committed to combating the menace of human trafficking by establishing an effective coordination infrastructure to prosecute traffickers and protect victims.
He said this on Saturday in a message on the World Day against Trafficking in Persons.
The day was observed annually on July 30 to raise awareness regarding the plight of victims of human trafficking and to promote and protect their rights. The day was observed to bring attention to a crime that left a lasting toll on human lives and society as a whole. It was one of the most serious human rights violations that brought high profits to traffickers through the exploitation of human beings by illegal means such as force, fraud or deception.
Dr Alvi said that Pakistan had embarked upon stringent anti-trafficking measures to enforce legal frameworks in line with international standards.
“Pakistan has enacted the Trafficking in Person Act, 2018 to prevent and combat trafficking in persons, especially women and children. This law prescribed imprisonment of up to ten years for the perpetrators of such illegal acts,” the president said.
The National Coordination Committee on Human Trafficking had been constituted under the chair of the Minister for Interior. The committee was responsible for steering national efforts in the fight against all forms of human trafficking, including bonded labour and sex trafficking. All relevant departments at the provincial level, including Social Welfare, Labour, Police, Child Protection and NGOs were made part of provincial and district anti-human trafficking committees for close coordination to effectively identify and protect victims of human trafficking, he said.
According to the president, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, had prepared National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling (2021-2025). The action plan highlighted the roles of different stakeholders and provides a holistic framework for the national response.
“I would take this opportunity to extend my appreciation and acknowledgement to the federal and provincial governments and all other relevant stakeholders who came together to fight this crime,” he said.
Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2022