Human Trafficking & Migrant Smuggling
Human trafficking and migrant smuggling is a major concern for Pakistan, and the wider international community. It is a manifestation of human rights violations of the individuals and communities. The human trafficking not only jeopardises the lives of the people who are trafficked but also traumatises the families and communities across the World. Pakistan has become a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons. The gravest human trafficking problem is illegal border crossing and migration for economic reasons. The human traffickers swindle the unemployed youth for a brighter life in Europe and East Asian countries. The youngsters including men and women risk their lives, wealth and wellbeing in pursuit of dreams of prosperous, happy and worries free life as immigrants. However, they are exposed to many hazards and risks to their personal security, life and liberty and often meet terrible fate in case of cross border shootings. Pakistan is a country which is gravely affected and impacted by these ignoble practices of human trafficking.
Horrible stories about the illegal migrants, of their deaths in accidents, kidnappings and exposure to extreme conditions and hazards left governments and international community aghast. Reports vividly explain and depict the plight of the victims of the human trafficking in the illegal border crossings and dangerous sea voyage and subsequent human tragedies associated with the crime of human trafficking. As per the available data, status of FIA and media reports, most of the traffickers and victims belong to the four districts of Punjab; Sialkot, Mandi Bahuddin, Gujranwala and Gujrat and their preferred intended destinations are Europe, especially Western Europe. There are reports and credible evidence available that the trafficked people/mostly illegal immigrants which sometimes also include women and children are exposed to human rights violations, injuries and shootings by border forces, inhuman treatment and appalling living conditions, kidnappings, slavery and bondage. The human trafficking not only compromises border controls of Pakistan but also ignites ill feelings, unrest and communal strife among the population of the destination countries. Countering human trafficking is a vital part of foreign policy of Pakistan, its western partners and international community.
Strategy and measures to counter human trafficking
C2D having worked with the human culture and heritage, has strong presence and connections with the various communities across Pakistan. Given the daunting challenge of human trafficking for the communities and the government of Pakistan, C2D has advocated protection and promotion of human rights and waged efforts to stop human trafficking in or out of Pakistan. It has undertaken research, situation analysis, policy briefs and carried out advocacy, awareness and communication campaign in collaboration with communities and government institutions to fight the challenge of human trafficking by spreading the message, educating and warning communities about the evil effects of trafficking for human wellbeing, safety and security of labour and promotion of the rights for the labour force across Pakistan.
As a part of the foreign policy, Pakistan makes all-out efforts to fight human trafficking through strict borders surveillance, exchange of information and experiences with the neighbouring countries and international partners. Internationally, the civil society organisations have led the way in encouraging governments and communities to address the problem of human trafficking. We believe that a well coordinated response from the government and CSOs required countering the problems of human trafficking. As it’s a problem sans borders, it requires a coordinated regional and international response by both governments and civil society organisations.
We, as part of civil society, try to spread the word about the perils and dangers of human trafficking to aware the vulnerable not to become the victim of fraud and forgery of the human traffickers. We have networked and coordinated our efforts with the civil society and government institutions to play our role in reducing the magnitude of the problem of human trafficking.