Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2017, 12:58 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Pakistan

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 14 June 2004
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Pakistan, 14 June 2004, available at: [accessed 13 December 2017]
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.

Pakistan (Tier 2 Watch List)

Pakistan is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked persons. Women and girls are trafficked to Pakistan from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, Burma, Nepal, and Central Asia for forced commercial sexual exploitation and bonded labor. Girls and women from rural areas are trafficked to urban centers for commercial sexual exploitation and labor. Women trafficked from East Asian countries and Bangladesh to the Middle East often transit through Pakistan. Adolescent boys are vulnerable to forced recruitments from local madrassas (Islamic schools) by armed groups fighting in Afghanistan and in Kashmir. Men, women, and children are trafficked to the Middle East to work as bonded laborers or in domestic servitude. Tougher enforcement efforts in Pakistan and the ban on child camel jockeys in the United Arab Emirates are believed to have reduced the numbers of boys trafficked through Pakistan for that purpose.

The Government of Pakistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however it is making significant efforts to do so. Pakistan is placed on Tier 2 Watch List this year because of a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year. Authorities in Pakistan do not consistently differentiate between trafficking and smuggling so actual rates of prosecution are difficult to determine. Lack of resources also limits victim assistance efforts. Government officials greatly need training on the distinction between trafficking and smuggling; this along with increased resources allocated to victim assistance would significantly further Pakistan's fight against trafficking.


Pakistan's law enforcement efforts greatly increased over last year, when only 11 persons were arrested for trafficking, although Pakistan's rate of convictions remains quite low. According to the Federal Investigative Agency, 416 trafficking cases were investigated under the new legislation, 350 arrests were made, 60 cases went to trial, and six convictions were handed down. Several cases remain pending in the courts. A number of these cases may be smuggling cases, as law enforcement officials do not often distinguish between trafficking and smuggling. The Federal Investigative Agency and police increased their training efforts so that officers may better recognize trafficking cases and respect victims' rights. If rape or forced prostitution cases are prosecuted under "Hudood" ordinances (Islamic family law), a victim's testimony may be tantamount to an admission of adultery if prosecutors conclude the testimony does not meet the burden of proof. In 2003, two Federal Investigative Agency officials were prosecuted for corruption related to trafficking, and 15 others received disciplinary action.


In Pakistan, NGOs provide the majority of assistance and protection services for victims. The Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance calls for the government to provide victims relief from deportation, and access to medical care, shelter, and food. Victims may also be granted monetary compensation by the courts under this ordinance, but a severe lack of resources precludes the government from providing many of these services. The government does refer a few victims to NGOs to provide assistance. Victims continue to be officially detained and charged with underlying offenses material to their trafficking, such as immigration violations and prostitution.


The government does not support specific anti-trafficking prevention programs, but it does provide funding for poverty alleviation, eradication of child labor, female education, and women's income generation projects. In April, the Prime Minister established an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Trafficking, Smuggling and Illegal Immigration that is charged with developing a comprehensive policy to combat trafficking. The government organized two conferences to educate government officials and NGOs about trafficking.

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