UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called for a unified coordinated, consistent and equitable global approach to end human trafficking that affects all regions of the world.
Speaking in the General Assembly’s high-level meeting reviewing progress in implementing the 2010 United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Pakistan’s Deputy permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Aamir Khan, said that Islamabad continues to fight all kind of organized crime, including human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
With the coronavirus pandemic having exacerbated global poverty and inequalities, he said millions of people were at greater risk of being trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labour and other crimes.
“The criminals involved prey on the weakest and the most vulnerable,” the Pakistani envoy said.
In recent years, he said proliferating conflicts, insecurity and economic deprivation have compelled millions of men, women and children to leave their homes to seek physical safety and economic security in other lands.
But he pointed out that they are often at the mercy of organized criminal groups and networks, and in the process of illegal migration, thousands of people have died at sea, in the desert and in detention centers.
On its part, Pakistan, in partnership with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other international partners, has made significant progress in addressing this challenge, Aamir Khan told the 193-member Assembly.
- Developed a Strategic National Action Plan (2021-2025) to combat trafficking in persons;
- Formulated detailed Rules and migrant smuggling laws for the prevention of trafficking;
- Adopted standard operating procedures for victim support and referral mechanisms; and
- Strengthened the technical capacities of immigration and border management officials to prevent irregular migration and curb trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling.
The adoption of the Global Compact on Migration by the UN, he said, marked the beginning of a new era of migration governance, dialogue and international cooperation.
Despite the current challenges, the Pakistani envoy said the international community can draw on the Global Compact to promote safe, orderly and regular migration with greater inclusion and sustainability. At the same time, he added, opening up additional avenues for legal migration is one way to reduce the “demand” for human smuggling and trafficking services and meet migration-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).