Meeting of Parliamentarians of Sindh and Province organized by SSDO

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ISLAMABAD,   (Parliament Times) : District level Stakeholders Working Group launched on combatting Human Trafficking & Bonded Labor in Pakistan. No of reported cases in province are far less then the actual cases happening in the provinces, combatting internal trafficking is the responsibility of the provincial police as per new law Prevention of Trafficking in Person Act 2018.
Pakistan is one of those countries that faces the challenges of human trafficking as a source, a transit country, and also destination country for men, women, and children, stated in meeting of parliamentarians of various departments of province of Punjab and Sindh organized by Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO). In this meeting, SSDO formed three Stakeholders Working Group comprising multi party Parliamentary Working Group, provincial departments including police, home department, labour department, social welfare department, human rights department, federal investigation agency, law department and district level group comprising the representative of the provincial departments to implement and further facilitate them to work for oversight of the implementation of, and review progress, and address challenges in implementation of the new legal framework to combat trafficking such as PTPA (Prevention of Trafficking in Person Act 2018) & PSMA (Prevention of Smuggling of Migrants Act 2018). The 05 hotspot districts including Lahore, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi and Multan from Punjab and Sukkur, Khairpur, Shikarpur, Ghotki from Sindh will be focused to developed a mechanism to develop interdepartmental coordination and strategy to improve the reporting of the human trafficking in the provinces.
Syed Kausar Abbas, the Executive Director of SSDO informed that SSDO is starting a two-year intervention to engage with all relevant stakeholders to form Parliamentary Working Group and other Stakeholder Working Groups comprising all relevant departments and stakeholders, judiciary and prosecution on one platform to coordinate, review, discuss and address various challenges in a way of implementation of PTPA and PSMA 2018 at all levels. As per new law combatting internal trafficking is the responsibility of provincial police but as per the performance the Punjab police only reported 08 cases in last 03 years, however the rate of internal trafficking cases is much higher in Punjab and other provinces. SSDO will continue facilitating parliamentarians, government institutions, law enforcement agencies, prosecution and media to have well-coordinated efforts to combat human trafficking in Pakistan. Pakistan is currently in Tier II country of Human Trafficking Watchlist developed by US department dealing Human Trafficking and can slip to Tier III if due attention is not given to implement laws.
Provincial Minister for Social Welfare Syed Yawer Bokhari said that the human trafficking is one the major issue that needs to be addressed in the provinces. There is a need to allocate the resources to address the issues of the human trafficking and protect the victims. He said the social welfare department will collaborate with SSDO to devise a provincial action plan to counter the human trafficking and bonded labor in Punjab. The provincial government will allocate the resources for victim protection centers and devise a mechanism to provide rehabilitation to the victims of the trafficking.
Dr. Farhan Navid Yousaf discussed that in our country, the human trafficking is mainly in labour intensive sectors and as per SDGs targets 8.7 and 16.2, there is need to take effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and elimination all forms of forced labour, abuse, exploitations, and trafficking. He stressed on the need of coordination of various relevant departments to at least develop database of human trafficking cases so as to develop strategic plan to address the issue. The females are being abused through trafficking and the government is taking strict actions against the traffickers, he said that the provincial government and the committee on the gender mainstreaming will develop a mechanism to collaborate with the different departments to address the issues of trafficking in person from the provinces.