WASHINGTON, June 27: The US State Department's report on human trafficking, released on Monday, underlines a new problem in Pakistan: militants using children to carry out their dirty work.
The report otherwise places Pakistan in tier 2: Countries which do not fully comply with the minimum standards for dealing this menace but are making significant efforts.
The State Department warns that the international fight against human trafficking, from abuses of migrant workers to organised prostitution networks, lost ground in the past year. The number of countries failing to comply with international standards to prevent human trafficking almost doubled to 23. Pakistan is not among them.
“The problem of modern trafficking may be entrenched, and it may seem like there is no end in sight,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement delivered with the report. “But if we act on the laws that have been passed and the commitments that have been made, it is solvable.”
As many as 27 million men, women, and children are “living in a state of modern slavery,” she said.
The reports says that in Pakistan, “non-state militant groups kidnap children or coerce parents with fraudulent promises into giving away children as young as 12 to spy, fight, or die as suicide bombers” in the country and in Afghanistan.
“The militants often sexually and physically abuse the children and use psychological coercion to convince the children that the acts they commit are justified,” the report adds.
Disabled children and adults are forced to beg in Iran. Girls and women also are sold into forced marriages; in some cases their new “husbands” move them across Pakistani borders and force them into prostitution.
NGOs and police reported markets in Pakistan where girls and women are bought and sold for sex and labour.
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