In 2018, more than 80,000 Pakistanis got deported and half of them were expelled from Saudi Arabia.
A report on human trafficking in Pakistan compiled by the National Commission for Human Rights (NHCR) has noted these findings. The report is named ‘The Menace of Human Trafficking/Smuggling—Pakistan’s response to the Problem’ and will be released next month.
The report states that a large number of women and children are trafficked, but the Federal Investigation Agency is unable to act due to lack of mandate.
NHCR Researcher and author of the report, Ghulam Mohammad, said that they have interviewed around 50 people who moved abroad illegally. The interviews disclosed that people who could not reach western countries after several attempts have become agents.
These individuals are involved in human trafficking, as they have comprehensive knowledge of different routes. He said that one of the most painful findings is that several girls are sent to the Middle East and told that they will get jobs in beauty salons. But after reaching there, they are used for prostitution.
“Those girls cannot come back to Pakistan as they know their families will never accept them because of social pressure,” he said.
Human Trafficking Routes
Mohammad also said that most people are trafficked via the Iran border, as it is easy because there’s just one FIA checkpost there. “However, we cannot blame the FIA because the FIA only has 4,500 employees and it cannot curb human trafficking with such a small number of employees.”
The report also found that a majority of people trying to move abroad belong to Mandi Bahauddin and Gujrat. The NHCR official further told that many people do not return after traveling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Umrah.
He said that the FIA should be given the mandate to deal with human trafficking within the country.
According to a statement by NHCR Chairman, Justice (retd.) Justice Ali Nawaz Chohan, Pakistanis are 10th among individuals in the world who try to migrate illegally to Australia and European countries.
Moreover, Pakistan is a crucial route for thousands of illegal migrants from Afghanistan who access Iran through Balochistan border that is the gateway to Europe through Turkey.
For Pakistanis, Gulf countries are an easy destination who get employed as domestic workers and laborers. Traffickers deem Dubai as a sex market where Pakistani women, having been recruited for a false job, are sold.
The said report points out that the government does not follow the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. However, it is taking important measures to do so.