Curb human trafficking

UN organised a regional conference on human trafficking in Islamabad on Tuesday discussing in detail how through increased border control mechanisms and strengthening law enforcement cooperation in the region this modern day evil could be addressed. Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal who was the chief guest on the occasion while reaffirming government’s commitment to curb human trafficking emphasised the need to identify the factors leading to a surge in human trafficking and smuggling.
In case of Pakistan, terrorism and drug trafficking along the porous Pak-Afghan border regularly catches headlines but the issue of human trafficking is hardly or seldom addressed despite the fact that there are mafias involved in the lucrative trade and clearly that is not possible without connivance of agencies such as Police and FIA. The overflow of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, unemployment, permeable boundaries and other such factors have made it an opportune working atmosphere for human smugglers. Young boys are most vulnerable targets because they often themselves access these groups in the search for a job. These victims of human or migrant smuggling are mostly found in the Middle East and European countries. According to Pakistan Thematic Group on Human Trafficking the coastline between Karachi and Gwadar is often used for human trafficking to the Gulf States by road through the Iranian border from where they are picked up by gangs and transported to Greece, Italy and Spain via ships. In case of female victims they are sold into forced, temporary or false marriages; in some cases, their new husbands move them across Pakistani border and force them into the sex industry abroad, directly or via Iran or Oman. Since it is a transnational criminal activity, therefore, there is no doubt that the regional countries will have to join hands to crush the traffickers playing with the life and future of our young generation. For this, they first of all need to put in place stringent security measures at their respective border areas. Then sharing of timely information amongst law enforcement agencies will also go a long way in tightening the noose around human smugglers. We also expect that the Interior Minister at the domestic level will also take requisite steps towards enhancing the efficiency of Police, FIA after removing, punishing all those who are hand in glove with the smugglers.

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