All positive things that the state of Pakistan should be appreciated and highlighted.
US admits Pakistan combating human trafficking effectively
Thursday, June 24, 2010
By Mariana Baabar
Daily The News
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has received a Tier 2 ranking and is the only country out of 12 South and Central Asia nations which has improved its ranking as far as human trafficking is related.
To achieve this, the Pakistan government has done a commendable job by penalising more than 150 Pakistani officials for facilitating or “participating in illegal migration and human smuggling”.
The 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report points out that Pakistan has improved over its 2009 rating. According to the spokesman at the US Embassy who has made available this information, the annual report, required by the US Congress, ranks 177 nations by tiers to measure the extent to which each government adheres to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, a US law enacted in 2000 to combat human trafficking and protect victims.
“A Tier 2 ranking means a government is making significant efforts to comply with the anti-trafficking law’s minimum standards but does not yet meet those standards. “The Tier 2 watchlist countries do not meet the minimum standards but are making significant efforts, yet trafficking is either increasing or more concrete steps are needed by the governments”, says the report.
The US Embassy in Islamabad acknowledged Pakistan’s 2010 ranking in a statement, saying, “The US government is committed to supporting Pakistan in its efforts to combat human trafficking.”
The embassy’s statement added that the 2010 Trafficking in Persons report reflected “the Government of Pakistan’s efforts to prosecute trafficking offenders, prevent and combat bonded labour, and protect trafficking victims.”
During 2009, Pakistan endeavoured to prosecute individuals charged with human trafficking, the TIP report said. According to the report, 385 people were convicted in 2009 under the Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance, compared to just 28 in 2008.
Another 166 were convicted under various other laws associated with human trafficking, the report said. At least three of those convicted were guilty of child trafficking, with the rest guilty of either labour or sex trafficking.
“The Government of Pakistan made some progress in its efforts to protect victims of human trafficking,” the report said. During 2009, local police successfully freed more than 2,000 bonded labourers in Sindh province, and Pakistan’s federal government succeeded in providing legal aid and development assistance, including land, housing, money and agricultural assistance, to bonded labourers from the provinces of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh.
More than 1,000 children, who had been trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, were also successfully repatriated, the Trafficking in Persons report said. Pakistan also received mention for its efforts at preventing human trafficking, including projects such as eliminating bonded labor in brick kilns and the country’s Child Protection Management Information System, which collectively spent millions of dollars to issue Computerized National Identification Cards, provide loans so labourers could get out of debt, and fund community organisations to prevent child trafficking. Pakistan has also invested in training its police and military officials in the most effective ways to combat human trafficking, the report said.