Islamabad, Pakistan 05 December 2022 – UNODC under the EU-funded GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East project in Pakistan is committed to ensuring the effective implementation of national counter-trafficking and smuggling legislation through targeted engagement with the judiciary at all levels, including the supreme court.
Under the framework of the GLO.ACT Women's Network Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Ayesha Malik are featured in the Network's “Women Can” campaign. Both justices have, at different times, contributed to high-level events on the margins of important normative meetings in Vienna or events held to commemorate EU-Anti Trafficking in Human Beings Day.
On 23 August 2022, UNODC had the opportunity to present for the first time to the Research Centre of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on the work undertaken by UNODC to counter human trafficking and migrant smuggling and the outcomes under GLO.ACT and tools developed by UNODC.
Following welcoming remarks by Justice Shah, Shahida Gillani, UNODC GLO.ACT National Project Officer, Pakistan and Emmanuelle Kunigk, GLO.ACT Communication and Strategy Specialist presented the work undertaken in the framework of GLO.ACT. They focused on UNODC's role in providing legislative assistance and developing Pakistan's counter-trafficking and smuggling acts. They also spoke about why applying a gender equality and human rights lens to human trafficking and migrant smuggling is essential.
During the exchange with the researchers working in the centre, UNODC also spoke about relevant Toolkits and important platforms such as the SHERLOC portal. They explained that SHERLOC is an initiative to facilitate the dissemination of information regarding the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the three Protocols thereto. As a result of the initial presentation, UNODC was requested to present SHERLOC to the research centre in more detail, and UNODC headquarter colleagues then provided, on 20 September 2022, an online introduction session to members of the centre. Relevant Toolkits and briefs developed by UNODC under GLO.ACT were also mentioned such as UNODC Toolkit on Trafficking for Organ Removal, UNODC’s Toolkit on Gender Equality and Human Rights Mainstreaming and a national study on the gendered nature of trafficking and smuggling.
The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss other important issues, such as the nexus between climate change, human trafficking and migrant smuggling. During the meeting, Ms Gillani and Ms Kunigk advocated further for ratifying the Protocols. On 6 September 2022, sustained advocacy on the issue over many years by UNODC led to the Cabinet of Pakistan issuing approval for accession to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.
Ms Gillani and Ms Kunigk also held extensive 1:2:1 discussions with both Justices. During these meetings, a broad range of issues were discussed, including upcoming judicial training modules on human trafficking and migrant smuggling developed under GLO.ACT and ways to ensure all relevant judicial stakeholders receive adequate training.
Looking ahead, UNODC will keep sharing relevant resource material with the research centre and continue its engagement on the judicial training modules regarding human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
Justice Shah and 7 judges working in the research centre attended the presentation.
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 four-year 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.
The project is funded by the European Union.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Shahida Gillani, National Project Officer
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