Islamabad : The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the Federal Investigation Agency on Tuesday launched a project to 'combat trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants' in the country.
According to representative of the UNODC Pakistan Dr. Jeremy Milsom, the two-year joint initiative of the UNODC and Canadian government reaffirms that combating human trafficking and migrant smuggling is of the highest importance for Pakistan and Canada and his organsiation as a whole.
"The project, which is financially supported by the government of Canada through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, is a coordinated response to trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants and aims to strengthen the capacity of the FIA for fighting trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants," he told the project launching ceremony here.
Dr. Jeremy Milsom said the support of the government of Canada would strengthen the national policies regarding TIP and SOM including the national capacity to assess and measure the phenomenon in Pakistan.
"The initiative will strengthen the capacity of FIA and police to combat TIP and SOM, and raise awareness amongst the risk group, public and relevant Pakistani authorities, and NGOs. It will also build the capacity of the national authorities to protect and reintegrate victims of trafficking and vulnerable smuggled migrants, especially women and children,” he said.
The representative of the UNODC Pakistan said the project was launched with the roll-out of two days training on data collection and management to reinforce the importance of disaggregation of TIP and SOM data, its adequate collection, and the needs to understand the differences between TIP and SOM.
Canada’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Wendy Gilmour, who was also in attendance, said her country commended Pakistan’s commitment to fighting human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
"We are pleased to work with UNODC as a partner in support of the Government of Pakistan’s efforts in these areas," she said.
The high commissioner said human trafficking was a crime, representing an assault on the fundamental human rights of its victims.
She said improved data gathering and analysis would assist in combatting trafficking and migrant smuggling, helping Pakistan address transnational crime and stop those who would prey on some of the world’s most vulnerable for their own gain.