To prevent human trafficking from Pakistan, UN experts have made 10 recommendations, in which they have emphasized on signing an international agreement on trafficking of refugees besides increasing the capacity of the relevant departments.
The details of the recommendations come at a time when the sinking of an illegal migrant boat off Italy last week, killing more than 60 people, including Pakistanis, has re-highlighted the issue around the world.
Among the other people killed in the boat accident were Shahida Raza, a former player of Pakistan’s women’s hockey team, and 14-year-old Azan Afridi from Peshawar, who was going to Europe for higher education.
According to experts working on human trafficking, there are three land, air and sea routes from Pakistan to Europe and Australia through which people from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and other countries of the region migrate illegally.
In this regard, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which plays a role in the elimination of human trafficking at the international level, has stated in an email in response to questions from Urdu News that in the year 2021-22, Iran’s 16 thousand 678 people arrived in Turkey illegally, while the number of those who went to Iran illegally was 25 thousand 268.
The email states that the United Nations has recommended 10 steps to the government of Pakistan to close these illegal transit routes and prevent human trafficking through Pakistan.
Central to these recommendations is the signing of the UN Convention on the Irregular Migration of Refugees.
After the signing of this agreement, Pakistan will be bound by all the laws and regulations of the United Nations, under which it is necessary to eliminate illegal transportation from its borders.
Other measures recommended by the United Nations include increasing the capacity of relevant law enforcement agencies and members of the judiciary to deal with human trafficking and trafficking laws, coordinating the protection and assistance of victims of trafficking and trafficking at the national level. The system is established.
In addition, the implementation of training courses for senior, junior and mid-level police officers on human trafficking, training of female law enforcement officers in modern investigative techniques and the protection and assistance of (trafficking) victims. These include increased capacity, increased regional and international cooperation, increased staff capacity to collect electronic evidence, and increased staff capacity for legal aid and cooperation in international cases of human trafficking.
Pakistan’s National Action Plan to Prevent Human Smuggling and Trafficking
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Pakistan has taken some steps in this regard, including the approval of laws related to human trafficking and trafficking, the National Action Plan 2021 to end human trafficking and trafficking by FIA. Implementation of 25, establishment of anti-trafficking committees at the country level, capacity building strategy of FIA and provincial authorities, launch of courses related to human trafficking and trafficking in FIA Academy, seven trainings of Punjab Police. This includes implementing a curriculum in schools to prevent local human trafficking and support victims.
In this regard, a senior FIA official told Urdu News that in the light of the United Nations recommendations, Pakistan has taken steps to tighten border control and crack down on networks involved in human trafficking internally. It has helped to solve the problem, but awareness campaigns in villages and small towns will make a significant difference.
Hotel and transport staff are key to preventing human trafficking
Social activist Waqar Haider Awan, who works on the subject of human trafficking and also provides training on its prevention, commented on the UN proposals, saying that they need to be implemented at the ground level.
Talking to Urdu News, he said that measures to help, protect, shelter and rehabilitate victims of trafficking and smuggling are still very weak, due to which they do not cooperate with the authorities.
“Some work has been done in terms of enforcement of laws, but much work is still needed to enable prosecutions.” The United Nations has done some work to train relevant people, but they too do not have full access to the people. Unless government and police training institutions fully implement this and advance cases by adopting state-of-the-art investigative and evidence-gathering methods, prosecutions are unlikely to convict those involved in human trafficking. Could be.’
Waqar Haider Awan said that the steps taken so far are insufficient in terms of governance. Training of bar associations (lawyers), journalists, hotel and transport industry members is also essential as these sectors are highly effective in spreading awareness, effective enforcement of laws, and effective prevention of trafficking and smuggling.
He said that awareness and training of hotel and transport staff in this regard is very important as these sectors are being used significantly in trafficking and smuggling.
“People working in hotels and transport should be able to quickly identify victims of trafficking and smuggling who are victims of agents and report them to the relevant people.”