Washington: The United States has upgraded Pakistan to Tier 2 from Tier 2 “watchlist” in the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report that was released by the States Department.
According to the report, Tier 2 consists of the countries whose governments do not fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.
Contrary to Tier 2, the “watchlist” version comprises countries where the estimated number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing, and the country is not taking proportional concrete actions.
“The Government of Pakistan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, if any, on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore Pakistan was upgraded to Tier 2,” the report said.
The report admitted efforts of Pakistan that included increasing investigations, prosecutions, and convictions, including increasing investigations and prosecutions under the 2018 Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act (PTPA).
It maintained that the government increased protection efforts overall. Provincial police reported identifying 21,253 trafficking victims, compared with 32,022 trafficking victims in 2020 and 19,954 in 2019. This included 190 for sex trafficking, 536 for forced labour, and 20,527 for unspecified exploitation –16,950 women, 2,918 men, 1,310 boys, and 50 girls
It further recommended that both the federal and provincial levels, increase prosecutions and convictions of all forms of trafficking, including bonded labour and sentence perpetrators to significant prison terms, including cases allegedly involving complicit officials.