Pakistan joins UNODC global initiative against human trafficking and migrant smuggling

Islamabad, Pakistan, 20 July 2017 - GLO.ACT - The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants funded by the European Union (EU) and the Public Awareness Campaign against human trafficking and migrant smuggling co-funded by Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection and United States Department of State were launched together in Islamabad on 19 July 2017.

GLO.ACT is a four-year joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).  The project reaffirms that combating human trafficking and migrant smuggling is of the highest importance for the EU and the UN as a whole. GLO.ACT is a coordinated response to trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants and aims to strengthen the criminal justice response in 13 strategically selected countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Likewise the public awareness campaign aims at educating the general public about human trafficking and migrant smuggling. The campaign will engage stakeholders through a broad range of communication channels and will utilize different mediums and tools to do so.

Mr. Cesar Guedes, UNODC Representative for Pakistan, in his speech stated that the international community needs to join efforts to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling in a comprehensive manner.  He added that"there is a need to mobilize all the relevant stakeholders to transform institutions and put people at the centre of public service. We need to mobilize creative initiatives like GLO.ACT and empower the institutions to be innovative in their approach, so that no one is left behind."  The seriousness of the situation can be gauged by the fact that the UN General Assembly and Security Council recently addressed these matters.

Also addressing the international and national community participating in launch, the Government of Pakistan, represented by the Additional Director General of the Federal Investigation Agency, Mr. Muhammad Shifaque said that: "Notwithstanding the critical importance of all forms of public interventions for curtailing Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, it is crucial to have governments and civil society work in close partnership in the fight against these crimes."

H.E. Ms. Margaret Adamson, Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan (represented by Ms. Nicole Guihot, Acting Deputy High Commissioner), said: "Australia is a regional leader in efforts to stop people smuggling, human trafficking and slavery and strongly supports efforts to raise public awareness of the dangers of human trafficking and people smuggling".

Also attending this high level event, theAmbassador of the Embassy of the United StatesH. E. Mr. David Hale, reiterated that "success will require partnerships among governments, judiciaries, civil societies, business communities and the public" and that the United States welcomed the launch of both initiatives.

The Ambassador of the European Union to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Jean-François Cautain highlighted that: "The fight against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants will only succeed in a joint effort where criminal networks can be interrupted by better regional and international cooperation on law enforcement, investigation and prosecution." He added that the dual approach of GLO.ACT is so important because it combines both prevention with protection strategies - on one hand strengthening capacities and on the other, providing assistance and protection for vulnerable victims.

GLO.ACT Project Coordinator, Ms. Margaret Akullo explained during the launch that apart from providing assistance to 13 countries participating in GLO.ACT, the initiative will also benefit civil society organizations as well as victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants directly. She went on to say that: "Together with our implementing partners, we apply six key responses to the project. These responses relate to strategy and policy development; legislative assistance; capacity building; regional and trans-regional cooperation; protection and assistance to victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants; and assistance and support to children among victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants."

In their interventions, GLO.ACT implementing partners, Mr. Junaid Khan, IOM Senior Programme Coordinator, and Ms. Sarah Coleman, UNICEF Chief of Child Protection, delivered presentations on the strengths of their organizational mandates on assistance to vulnerable migrants and children protection respectively.

The launch ceremony took place in the presence of the diplomatic community, senior government representatives from provincial line departments, provincial police, academia, media and civil society representatives.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Shahida Gilani, Programme Officer Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling



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