Islamabad, Pakistan 21 March 2023 – UNODC, under the framework of GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East, organized on 13 March 2023 a validation workshop on the adaptation of the Trafficking in Persons manual for the Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police. The workshop was part of the UNODC's ongoing assistance to the provincial police departments in incorporating the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) manual into the curriculum of the respective provincial police departments. The same exercise was done with the Punjab police back in 2021 when the Punjab police adopted and approved the manual, which is now being taught in all Punjab police training institutions. The adaptation of the manual and incorporation into the police curriculum will allow the police to sensitize and train junior, middle, and senior rank officers on trafficking in persons – especially internal trafficking, which is the mandate of the provincial police as per the Trafficking in Persons Act 2018. Officers from Sindh, Baluchistan, KPK, and Punjab police attended the workshop.
During the meeting, Qaiser M. Siddiqui, UNODC National Expert, highlighted the importance of adopting the manual. He reinforced that Trafficking in Persons is the exploitation of human beings, which takes away a victim's dignity. He explained that section 8 of the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 2018 assigns the police as the main investigating agency for all cases related to internal trafficking. Since the laws were enacted in 2018 and the rules adopted in 2021, it has been observed that police awareness of human trafficking has been very low and that there is an urgent need to train police officials on the crime if they are to investigate the cases of human trafficking within the country. Mr Siddiqui stressed that awareness raising with police will increase if the TIP is taught through the Police Training Institutes (PTIs).
While delivering opening remarks, the event chair, Syed Farid Ali, Director General of Safe City Capital Police, Islamabad, said. "Human trafficking is a heinous crime committed against fellow human beings. It is a crime of exploitation where organized gangs and groups feed on the vulnerability of people. Pakistan is one of those countries where human trafficking and migrant smuggling are complex and have many different angles. Organized groups use the complexity and prey on people's vulnerabilities to exploit and o generate profits. With the enactment of new laws, the provincial police have been designated as the agency for investigating internal trafficking. Therefore, the police must have the knowledge, resources, and capacity to deal with such offences."
During the day-long interactive workshop, UNODC provided an overview of the achievements of FIA, shared insights on the adaptation exercise held with the Punjab police from 2021 to 2022, discussed the changes proposed by the provincial police, and through group work captured feedback, suggestion, and recommendation of the participants. Since the Punjab Police had already endorsed the manual and had incorporated it into the police curriculum, their presence was of great encouragement and help to the other participants. The officials provided insights on the implementation and shared the course structure taught at the Police Training Schools in Punjab.
The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants – Asia and the Middle East (GLO.ACT-Asia and the Middle East) is a joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in up to five countries: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Afghanistan), Islamic Republic of Iran (I.R. of Iran), Republic of Iraq (Iraq), Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Pakistan). GLO.ACT-Bangladesh is a parallel initiative also financed by the EU and implemented with IOM.
The project builds on a global community of practice set in motion in GLO.ACT 2015-2019 and assists governmental authorities and civil society organizations in targeted, innovative, and demand-driven interventions: sustaining effective strategy and policy development, legislative review and harmonization, capability development, and regional and trans-regional cooperation. The project also provides direct assistance to victims of human trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and protection mechanisms. The project is fully committed to mainstreaming Human Rights and Gender Equality considerations across all of its activities.
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Shahida Gillani, National Project Officer
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