Senior officials in Pakistan identify potential areas of cooperation on SOM and TIP

8 March 2012, Karachi, Pakistan : On a rare occasion, 35 senior officials of Federal and provincial governments, including the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), provincial police Home Departments, Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Human Resources Development sat side by side to explore strategies to better combat the crimes of smuggling of persons and trafficking in persons at a UNODC hosted workshop, "Strategic Dialogue on Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons". Participants identified the need to improve the reporting of the cases of these crimes through better identification, as the  starting point for dialogue and sought answers as to what prevention of smuggling of migrants would mean in practice for Pakistan, a source country of economic migrants. Importantly, a consensus emerged that a more coordinated effort to share data and report incidents not limited to the police and FIA would improve identification and increase the number of prosecutions of criminals. The need to respect the rights of both smuggled migrants and trafficked persons throughout the entire criminal process was also highlighted. While the lack of systematic reporting mechanisms or collection of data of the two crimes is a serious concern, the workshop began an open-ended discussion on how to eliminate hurdles and explore potential areas of cooperation on a more frequent basis.