On July 30th world day against Trafficking in Persons is held every year. Thousands of men, women and children end up in the hands of traffickers every year, often through being tricked and misled to believe that they are being taken to work that will make their family better off, or through force, kidnap, or even through very poor families selling children in order to survive. There are many ways that people get caught up in trafficking, but the result is the same, they lose their rights and identity and are used and abused.
PAKISTAN has been downgraded from ‘Tier 2’ to ‘Tier 2 Watch List’ in the 2020 TIPR by the US State Department. Pakistan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking this year, the conviction rates remained inadequate when compared to the magnitude of the problem. Almost 19,954 trafficking victims were reported in Pakistan. Our government has significantly decreased investigations and prosecutions against sex-trafficking. Due to steep rise in unemployment, overseas employment promoters entrap Pakistanis in sex trafficking and bonded labor.
How long will our government turn a blind eye on the plight of victims? We as a Pakistani should combat human trafficking through public awareness, outreach, education, and advocacy campaigns. Protect and assist victims by providing shelters health, psychological, legal, and vocational services, and lastly by Prosecute human trafficking, the traffickers must be incarcerate for the rest of their life.
We all have a responsibility to advocate for a more equal world that doesn’t allow slavery of any kind to exist.
Syeda Ruqiya Fatima