Human, Migrant Trafficking Reduces By 50%: Minister of Justice

Kabul: Outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, closure of borders and arrest of heads of human and migrant trafficking networks have led to a 50 percent reduction in human and migrant trafficking, said Justice Minister Fazl Ahmad Manawi at a press conference on Tuesday.

Over the past year, 70 people have been arrested on human trafficking charges in Afghanistan. Manawi added that one of the 34 identified networks of human trafficking and migrant trafficking are under the scrutiny of security agencies.

He said that the Attorney General’s Office had received and worked on the cases of 50 people arrested on charges of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, including five accused of human trafficking and another 45, accused of smuggling migrants.

He clarified that the Supreme Court had tried eight people on charges of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, four of whom had been sentenced to moderate imprisonment, and four others, including a woman and three men, had been acquitted.

The Minister of Justice said that currently 235 cases of human trafficking, migrant trafficking and child trafficking are pending in the courts of first instance, appellate courts and the Supreme Court, including 158 cases of human trafficking, 56 cases of migrant trafficking and 21 cases of child labor.

He added that a number of government officials are among those accused of human trafficking and migrant smuggling. “A senior Interior Ministry official and a former executive director of the National Unity Government are among those prosecuted for human trafficking and migrant smuggling,” he added.

Manawi said that in the past year, 75 Afghan nationals smuggled into Iran had died and 64 others had been injured for various reasons.

The Minister of Justice called human trafficking and migrant trafficking a global threat and expressed hope that the international community would cooperate with the Government of Afghanistan in this regard.

“There is a concern that the withdrawal of foreign forces will not increase the activity of human trafficking networks,” he said. “But we make sure that we prevent any activity of these networks.”

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Latest from Newsfeed; Tuesday, May 4 2021