UN.GIFT JOINT PROGRAMME TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN PAKISTAN
Participating Agencies: ILO, IOM, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNODC
Human trafficking in Pakistan is a complex, heterogeneous phenomenon. Pakistan is reportedly a source, transit and destination country for various forms of transnational and internal human trafficking, but the lack of comprehensive and reliable data complicates the development of anti-trafficking policies and activities.
Poverty and the lack of economic development opportunities lead people to seek work elsewhere and increase vulnerability to trafficking. Internal displacement due to the security situation adds to the problem. Transnational human trafficking for labour exploitation is a particular problem, complicated by the fact that some cases initially start as consensual smuggling of migrants but later become human trafficking as smugglers exploit victims to recoup investment or abandon them leaving people vulnerable to traffickers.
Pakistan has not signed or ratified the Trafficking in Persons Protocol. However, some anti-trafficking laws and policies are in place.
The Joint Programme for Pakistan brings together as partners the Government of Pakistan and five UN organizations (UNODC, UNICEF, UNIFEM, ILO and IOM) and aims to upgrade the capacity of government agencies and other stakeholders to address both cross-border and internal human trafficking in line with international instruments. The programme intends to pave the way for ratification of such instruments by the Government and enable it to implement anti-human trafficking policies on the basis of empirical data.
The first phase of the programme involves establishing a base line assessment and supporting a pilot structure to conduct a wide range of anti-human trafficking activities, covering prevention, prosecution and protection. The pilot structure will focus on transnational human trafficking from the Punjab, a major source area, as well as internal human trafficking to and from Punjab. Regional cooperation and coordination will also be addressed.
Phase Two of the programme will see the lessons learned used to expand the pilot structures to address identified issues of human trafficking more widely in Pakistan.
Ms. Claudia Gioffre