ISLAMABAD: United States Ambassador Donald Blome has emphasised the need for strengthening Pakistan’s capacity to identify and investigate trafficking crimes besides raising awareness of the risks and consequences of human trafficking.

Speaking at the ‘Inte­r­n­ational Conference on Co­m­­bating Trafficking and Bonded Labour of Women and Girls in Pakistan’ here on Tuesday, Ambassador Blome remarked, “We are making progress, but there is still a lot of work remaining to do.”

He hoped to see partnerships develop and opportunities for further collaboration explored while calling for sharing best practices in assisting and protecting survivors.

Ambassador Blome said the toll of human trafficking is borne disproportionately by its survivors, but it would be a mistake to dismiss the impact it has on society.

The severity and pervasiveness of this issue demands collective action. Working together across government, business, and civil society was essential in effort to create a fairer and more equitable world, the envoy observed.

Joseph Salavarria, a retired special agent from the US Department of Homeland Security having 20-year criminal investigative experience, and Ansa Noreen, a trafficking survivor, also participated in the conference.

Mr Blome said her story could have ended in tragedy. However, through the coordinated efforts of stakeholders, she was eventually freed, and she stood as a tireless advocate for trafficking victims.

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2024

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