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Wednesday April 24, 2024

Maid torture case: Punjab wants anti-human trafficking law added to FIR

By Asif Mahmood Butt
August 11, 2023

LAHORE: The Punjab government has asked the federal interior ministry to direct the Islamabad police to add Section 3 of the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2018 to the case, registered against the wife of a civil judge for torturing a domestic help Rizwana.

According to a document, a copy of which is available with the reporter, a letter has been written by the Punjab Home Department to the Ministry of Interior, stating that Pakistan has recently been removed from the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons watchlist. If the case of Rizwana’s torture was not addressed according to the law, it would not only damage Pakistan’s international image but would also have serious consequences for society, the letter said.

The home department said that the US State Department had upgraded Pakistan’s status from the Tier 2 watchlist in its report due to the government’s efforts to prevent human trafficking and forced labour of children.

The department has said that despite all those efforts mentioned above, Pakistan could not meet the international standards. The Federal Ministry of Interior should order the Islamabad Police to add Section 3 of the Trafficking in Persons Act, 2018, read with Section 7, to the FIR registered in the case.

It said that the Rizwana case should be thoroughly investigated and the prosecution should use all its might to prepare a case study, so that the forthcoming State Department Trafficking in Persons report could not allege that Pakistan had committed the scourge of child abuse and forced labour.

The outcome of the case must prove that the commitments made at the international level for elimination of child abuse and child labour had been fulfilled.