Trafficking in persons is a major human rights violation in Pakistan, and it is one of the most serious human rights challenges that the country currently faces. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Pakistan is one of the key sources, destinations, and transit countries for human trafficking.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year and that the majority of these victims are women and children.
In Pakistan, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked each year, with most of them being women and children. Trafficking in persons is a lucrative business for criminal networks in Pakistan, and it is often used as a way to make money by exploiting vulnerable individuals and communities.
The profits from trafficking are used to finance other criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and terrorism. Victims of trafficking in Pakistan are often lured away from their homes with promises of better employment or education.
Once they are taken, they are subjected to physical and psychological abuse, exploitation, and forced labor. They are often kept in captivity and deprived of their freedom of movement and rights to self-determination.
The most common form of trafficking in Pakistan is bonded labor, which is a form of modern slavery. Bonded labor can involve forced labor, debt bondage, or other forms of exploitation. In Pakistan, it is estimated that there are over two million people in bonded labor and that the majority of them are women and children.
The government of Pakistan has taken steps to combat trafficking in persons and protect the rights of victims. In 2012, the government passed the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, which criminalizes all forms of trafficking in persons. The government has also set up a National Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking and a National Crisis Centre to provide assistance to victims.
Despite these efforts, trafficking in persons in Pakistan remains a serious problem. The government of Pakistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked each year and that the majority of them are women and children. It is essential that the government of Pakistan continues to take steps to combat trafficking in persons and to protect the rights of victims. The government should also increase its efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers, as well as to provide protection to victims.
It is also important that the international community continues to provide support and assistance to the government of Pakistan in its efforts to combat trafficking in persons. Only through a concerted effort from both the government and the international community can trafficking in persons in Pakistan be effectively addressed.
Muhammad Furqan Khattak is a researcher, peace and conflict studies scholar, and a US Exchange Alumnus (2012)