World Day Against Trafficking in Persons: UN Urges States to Step Up Efforts

In a statement to mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the UN Special Rapporteur Ms Maria Grazia Giammarinaro urged States to step up efforts to ensure compensation for people who are trafficked.

As per World Trafficking in Person’s Report of 2018, Afghanistan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex-trafficking.

Men, women, and children are exploited in bonded labor in Afghanistan, where an initial debt assumed by a worker as part of the terms of employment is exploited, ultimately entrapping other family members, sometimes for multiple generations. There are entire Afghan families trapped in debt bondage in the brick-making industry in eastern Afghanistan. Most Afghan trafficking victims are children exploited in carpet making and brick factories, domestic servitude, commercial sex, begging, poppy cultivation, salt mining, transnational drug smuggling, and assistant truck driving within Afghanistan.

It has been highlighted by USAID that the purpose of the Combating Human Trafficking in Afghanistan activity is to raise awareness of the problem, and to empower communities to take action and build the capacities within the Government of Afghanistan to implement, and also oversee The National Action Plan on Countering Trafficking in Persons through effective coordinated partnership with stakeholders in Afghanistan and in the region.

The Combating Human Trafficking in Afghanistan Project, is a joint effort by the United States Agency for International Development and International Organization for Migration, prepares Afghan government institutions to effectively participate in the prevention of trafficking, prosecution of traffickers, and protection of victims and improve regional coordination to combat cross-border trafficking.

“It is critically important that States invest in long-term solutions to ensure social inclusion for survivors of human trafficking. This means ensuring that there are robust procedures by States to allow victims to access to justice and remedies including compensation”, she said.

She pointed that profound changes are needed in States’ approaches to migration and trafficking and that restrictive and xenophobic migration policies and the criminalisation of migrants, as well as of NGOs and individuals providing humanitarian aid, are incompatible with effective action against human trafficking.

She expressed that politcians fuelling hatred, building walls, condoning the detention of children and preventing vulnerable migrants from entering their territories are working against the interests of their own countries.

“What is needed is safe, orderly and regular migration, which includes making provision for the social integration of migrants. This is crucial also for victims of trafficking, including women suffering discrimination, gender-based violence and exploitation, and children subjected to abuse during their journey, especially when travelling alone. The reality is that restrictive migration policies produce irregularity and vulnerabilities, and foster exploitation and trafficking. Therefore social inclusion is the only and right answer”, Ms Giammarinaro conceded.

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