Police and Civil Society Have Vital Role in Curbing HTMS: Federal Investigation Agency


Lahore, 29 January 2016 - The Federal Investigation Agency and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Pakistan organized two sessions at Hotel Hospitality Inn Lahore, for police officers and civil society representatives respectively. The sessions aimed to sensitize both groups on the adverse impacts of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as on the necessity for its prevention and eradication.  

This gathering was in continuation of a related event organized on 25 November 2015 in the capital, for the Islamabad/Rawalpindi region. As per their roles the FIA controls crimes concerning external human trafficking, and the Police interdicts offences related to internal human trafficking. Their collaborative actions can be beneficial towards curbing the issue as a whole.

The event was chaired by Dr Usman Anwer, Director FIA Punjab Zone, who highlighted the importance of the police's role in both prevention and control of human trafficking since taking internal human traffickers into custody, and cases under the Pakistan Penal Code, is the responsibility of the Police. Dr Usman emphasized however that civil society too has a vital role to play by transferring awareness to the grassroots level, thus  creating a difference in public perception. 

In addition, several sessions were conducted by Mr Sajid Akram (Deputy Director FIA), Ms Shahida Gillani (Programme Officer UNODC), Maj Amir Malik (Senior Research Officer UNODC), Mr. Arsalan Malik (Assistant Director General Immigration, Punjab Zone FIA), and others;  sharing statistics and details of interventions carried out to control human trafficking and migrant smuggling. 

The events were attended by a large number of police officials from the Lahore region, civil society representatives, opinion makers, journalists, NGOs, and representatives from the judiciary. Certain areas were identified in various spheres related to HTMS, and a better understanding of issues thus achieved; with an agreement to act together against the scourge and negative effects of HTMS. The sessions were concluded with high optimism, and the efforts of UNODC and FIA appreciated by all participants; with the resolve to further strengthen collaboration between UNODC, FIA, and other stakeholders in achieving these objectives.