The USA has upgraded Pakistan’s status on the human trafficking index from previously being on the watch list* to the group of countries that are taking significant steps to curb the issue – according to a report released on Friday.
*watch list: a list of individuals, groups, or items that require close surveillance, typically for legal or political reasons.
As per the report by US State Department, Pakistan has not yet met the minimum for the elimination of trafficking but is doing enough efforts to do so.
“The government demonstrated increased efforts compared to the previous reporting period, therefore, Pakistan was upgraded to Tier 2.” – the report read.
The upgrading came two days after an international financial watchdog placed Pakistan on the ‘grey list’ – the monitoring list – for allowing terrorists to collect funds.
US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said that modern slavery is a curse and through diplomatic engagement and action, US government is taking significant steps towards eradicating it and the approach is sustained in years to come. The report also urged Pakistan to increase prosecution and conviction for forced, bonded labor and sex trafficking.
Pakistan now stands at Tier 2. Tier 2 list includes countries that do not fully comply with these standards but are taking significant steps to bridge the gap.
The report also brought under notice that the Pakistan government has demonstrated increased commitment by raising the identified number of victims, investigations, and prosecutions of sex trafficking.
The provincial government of Punjab has significantly increased investigations, convictions, and prosecutions for bonded labor, which is country’s largest human trafficking problem. The report also pointed out the areas where the country lacked. The law enforcement was termed inadequate according to the existing magnitude of the problem. Punjab was the only province to report prosecutions and convictions for bonded labor. Official complicity remained a persistent problem and government failed to devise any new laws to overcome the problem entirely.
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