Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Pakistan
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||24 February 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Pakistan, 24 February 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b8e7a6e23.html [accessed 20 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This 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.|
[From the introductory text accompanying this report on the U.S. Department of State website: "In most cases, the Interim Assessment is intended to serve as a tool by which to gauge the anti-trafficking progress of countries that may be in danger of slipping a tier in the upcoming June 2010 TIP Report and to give them guidance on how to avoid a Tier 3 ranking. It is a tightly focused progress report, assessing the concrete actions a government has taken to address the key deficiencies highlighted in the June 2009 TIP Report. The Interim Assessment covers actions undertaken between the beginning of May – the cutoff for data covered in the June TIP Report – and November. Readers are requested to refer to the annual TIP Report for an analysis of large-scale efforts and a description of the trafficking problem in each particular country or territory."]
The Government of Pakistan has made some progress in combating trafficking in persons since the release of the 2009 TIP Report, with improvements evident at both the national and provincial levels. While the Government of Pakistan has not reported any prosecutions or convictions of labor trafficking offenders, or any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in human trafficking, it has reported many investigations of labor and sex trafficking offenses. The reporting of law enforcement data on bonded labor and forced child labor, a provincial police purview, has been difficult because of the high level of extremist violence and other criminal activity affecting Pakistan.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) disseminated the 2009 TIP Report's findings and recommendations among federal and provincial labor, education, and health ministries, provincial chief secretaries, and provincial inspectors general of police, and requested data on anti-trafficking efforts from these government entities. As of October 2009 law enforcement officers in four districts of the Sindh Province had rescued approximately 650 laborers from bondage and placed some in state-owned housing. The federal government formed a Legal Review Committee and held nation-wide multi-stakeholder consultations to draft a legislative amendment to strengthen the 1992 Bonded Labour Abolition Act.
Pakistan has expanded victim protection services and prevention efforts. The government provided medical and psychological services to Pakistani trafficking victims in Oman through its FIA Oman offices. The federal government, as part of its National Plan of Action for Abolition of Bonded Labor and Rehabilitation of Freed Bonded Laborers, continued to provide legal aid to bonded laborers in the North West Frontier Province and Punjab and expanded services to include Balochistan and Sindh provinces, establishing provincial capital bases and district offices. This legal aid program has had an average annual expenditure of $21,000 since its launch in 2005. The Punjab provincial government continued implementation of its $1.4 million project (launched at the end of 2008) aimed at eliminating bonded labor in brick kilns. This project to date helped nearly 6,000 bonded laborers obtain national identity cards and has provided $140,000 in no-interest loans to help free laborers from debt. The Sindh provincial government has continued to implement its $116,000 project (launched at the end of 2005) which provided state-owned land for housing camps and constructed 75 low-cost housing units for freed bonded laborer families.