ISLAMABAD, July 20 (Alliance News): While appreciating the overall progress made in preventing human trafficking in Pakistan, the US removed Pakistan from the ‘Tier 2 Watch List’ of human trafficking and upgraded it to ‘Tier 2’.
According to foreign media, US Secretary of State Anthony Blanken released the report from the State Department and also announced the names of individuals from around the world whose tireless efforts have made a lasting impact in the fight against human trafficking.
The report said that despite the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic on anti-trafficking measures, the Government of Pakistan showed an overall increase in anti-trafficking efforts compared to the previous review period, hence Pakistan was upgraded to Level 2.
Tier 2 includes countries whose governments do not fully comply with all requirements to discourage human trafficking but are making significant efforts to bring measures in line with those standards.
In contrast, the Tier 2 watch list includes countries that could be placed in Tier 3, face sanctions, and have their access to US and international aid restricted due to non-compliance.
Pakistan remained on the watch list from 2015 to 2017 and was upgraded to Tier 2 in 2018 and the following year in 2019. remained in the list.
The report commended Pakistan for increasing investigations and prosecutions under the 2018 Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act (PTPA), including increasing penalties.
The report further stated that the government of Pakistan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, but it is making significant efforts in this regard.
According to the report, during 2021, the Government of Pakistan provided protection to more victims of human trafficking, provincial government departments increased their awareness of SOPs when identifying and referring victims, and trained more stakeholders. .
The government allocated resources to implement the National Action Plan and amended the PTPA to remove provisions that would have allowed those involved in trafficking in women and children to pay fines in lieu of imprisonment. are
By the third year, the government had not acted adequately on substantiated reports of government involvement in trafficking, reports of victims re-victimizing soon after recovery, and corruption continued to hamper anti-trafficking efforts.
Local officials in Sindh have been involved in forced labor in brick kilns and farms, the report urged Pakistan to increase prosecutions and penalties for all forms of trafficking, including forced labour, at the federal and provincial levels.
The report recommended a strict ban on support for non-state armed groups that illegally recruit and use child soldiers.