GLO.ACT supports awarneness raising efforts on new anti-human trafficking and migrant smuggling legislation

Karachi, Pakistan - Under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT), UNODC, as part of its awareness strategy, organized session for local police and community in Karachi. The purpose was to raise the awareness of the local police authorities as well as community about Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and introduce the newly enacted laws.

Reason for conducting session at Sindh is due to recent trends of human trafficking and migrant smuggling (HTMS) cases in Karachi. In 2017, 487 cases of HTMS were registered out of which 388 were prosecuted. Karachi is one of the most important business hubs in the country where people from within the Sindh province travel for better economic opportunities and travel abroad. There are three immigration checkpoints located at Quaid-e-Azam International Airport Karachi, the land route of Khokharapar and Mohammad Bin Qassim Seaport. 

It is because of this context that UNODC, under GLO.ACT, made prevention one of its key focus areas when engaging with the police as well as local communities in Pakistan. In April 2018, GLO.ACT in partnership with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) organized awareness sessions at Gilgit and Hunza districts for members of the police and the local community. The police sessions were attended by police officers, representatives from academia, the media and civil society organizations.

Besides the realization that increasing the level of awareness and sensitization regarding TIP is necessary to curb the issue, the following factors were specifically focused on during the sessions:

  1. Increasing awareness among people, particularly in areas where people tend to migrate abroad;
  2. Increasing awareness among law enforcement agencies about issue and the role they play in combatting it;
  3. Influence the role of civil society organizations to bring to light crimes that are generally unknown to large segments of society.

30 police and FIA officers as well as 45 representatives from community academia, media and civil society attended the sessions. Mr. Mohammad Younis Chandio who is currently posted as Additional Director FIA Karachi represented the FIA. Mr. Chandio said, "Including local police is a great initiative. There was lack of awareness among police officers regarding the crime of human trafficking although they were handling it under different sections of our Penal Code. The newly enacted law on TIP now specifically fixes the responsibility of local police to handle internal trafficking issues."                                                                      

Mr. Ehsan Gilani, Senior Programme Associate at UNODC, emphasized that: "GLO.ACT has successfully covered four provinces of Pakistan with the intention to not only raise the awareness level of the police and community but also to promote inter agency cooperation between FIA and police which will help the agencies to tackle TIP in a more coordinated effort." The participants were also informed about GLO.ACT nation-wide awareness raising campaign to combat TIP and the Smuggling of Migrants and were urged to spread the word in community at large.

                         

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine.  GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Shahida Gillani, National Project Officer

Email: Shahida.gillani@un.org 

For more information, please visit:

www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/glo-act/

Email: glo.act@un.org

Twitter:   @glo_act

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