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PESHAWAR: Laws against human smuggling urged

January 26, 2004

PESHAWAR, Jan 25: Speakers at a workshop have urged the government to promulgate necessary laws against human trafficking to bring to justice those involved in this crime, and save the community from falling victims to the traffickers.

The one-day workshop entitled "Human Trafficking and Smuggling" was organized by the Society for Human Rights and Prisoners Aid (Sharp) here on Sunday with a view to enabling officials of law-enforcement agencies to cope withcases of human trafficking effectively.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Ijaz Khan of the department of international relations, University of Peshawar, said human trafficking was the worst form of human rights violations. He said a large of number of families suffered immensely because of the trafficking of their near and dear ones.

The issue of human trafficking, he said, had assumed a status of an organised international crime and needed to be checked through strict implementation of the relevant laws.

Prof Khan urged the participants to make hard efforts to sensitize the people on the issue and save the innocent people and their families from sufferings.

Mr Mukhtar Kansi said the problem of human trafficking had been continuing since long. According to him, in all the countries and at global level there had been a lot of legislation aimed at curbing the menace. Mr Kansi said the issue was an older one, but strict steps were the need of the hour to put brakes on the trafficking of human being and save the people from being victimized.

"Though Pakistan has not ratified the Convention on Transnational Crime 2000, it happened to be one of the countries with countless incidents of human trafficking and should take measures to end the crime," he said. According to the international data, he said, an estimated two million people were being transported illegally every year.

He said the factors responsible for the rise in human trafficking were extreme poverty, quick bucks and lack of information on the part of the gullible victims to gauge the intentions of the human smugglers.

The Director of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Malik Naveed Khan, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said the government had already promulgated an ordinance in 2002 to take to task the criminals involved in the human trafficking, and added that his organisation was taking all steps to overcome the problem.

The director of the human trafficking section of Sharp, Imran Naseem, shed light on the role of the organization with regard to raising public awareness and suggesting ways and means to enable the law enforcement agencies and the public to tackle the problem effectively.