Last Updated: Friday, 27 November 2015, 07:33 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Afghanistan

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 3 June 2005
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Afghanistan, 3 June 2005, available at: [accessed 27 November 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Afghanistan (Tier 2)

Afghanistan is a country of origin for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and labor. Children are trafficked to Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia for forced begging, labor, and sexual exploitation. Some parents pay smugglers to take their children into Iran and Saudi Arabia, hoping their children will find work and send remittances; once there, the children become subject to coercive arrangements that constitute involuntary servitude. Children are also "loaned" by their parents to perform agricultural and domestic work within Afghanistan in return for wages paid to the parents; these arrangements often develop into involuntary servitude. Women and girls are kidnapped, lured by fraudulent marriage proposals, or sold into forced marriage and commercial sexual exploitation in Pakistan. Women and girls are also trafficked internally as a part of the settlement of disputes or debts as well as for forced marriage and labor and sexual exploitation.

Afghanistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Afghanistan has a taskforce and national action plan focusing exclusively on child trafficking. It now needs to implement its comprehensive national plan of action against all forms of trafficking. Afghanistan needs to establish a shelter for women victims of trafficking as it has done for child victims. It should also deal with corruption within its police forces, as many perpetrators are not brought to justice. Implementation of these reforms is complicated by the fact that Afghanistan still faces resource limitations and daunting challenges in exerting control over some of its provinces.


Afghanistan's law enforcement actions against trafficking are hard to quantify and evaluate, as the government does not compile and keep central data on its prosecution activities. Reports indicate that out of a possible 20 suspected cases of child trafficking, two resulted in convictions, three resulted in acquittals, and six are still being prosecuted. Afghanistan does not have anti-trafficking legislation; however, it can use its other laws to prosecute trafficking and related crimes. The government should implement a comprehensive anti-trafficking law to combat all forms of trafficking. It should also aggressively investigate and prosecute elements within its police force that are complicit in trafficking.


Afghanistan improved its victim protection activities in 2004. It continued operating a transit center in Kabul to assist children deported from destination countries. It also used innovative family tracing and reunification systems to facilitate the return and reintegration of children. In addition, Afghanistan has a procedure by which parents/guardians are required to certify their children's safe return to them – a procedure meant to reduce the re-trafficking of child victims. In 2004, Afghanistan, with the assistance of UNICEF and IOM, started reintegration projects in the Baghlan and Takhar provinces for deported children from Saudi Arabia and Iran. Afghanistan, in collaboration with UNICEF, provided anti-trafficking training for officials in frontline agencies. NGOs provided clothing and temporary shelter to victims.


The Government of Afghanistan improved its efforts to combat trafficking through prevention activities over the reporting period, due largely to improved security in certain provinces, increased access to education, cessation of war and conflict, improved border control, and improvement in people's standard of living. In 2004, Afghanistan completed a study on child trafficking and approved, translated, and distributed an action plan to combat this form of trafficking to all provinces. Afghanistan should conduct a similar study for all forms of human trafficking and adopt a plan of action to combat it.

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