‘Pakistan lacks resources to eradicate human trafficking’
ISLAMABAD (September 13 2007): Pakistan lacks state of the art capabilities and enough resources to completely eradicate human trafficking, admits a top official but claimed efforts were underway to make things better.
“A project to overcome the menace is being worked upon. Its absolute elimination, however, is not possible due to limited resources,” National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Chairman Brigadier Saleem Moeen (Retd) told a conference on “Data Collection – Human Trafficking” here on Wednesday.
The official argued that human trafficking could not be controlled through laws or money alone. “There is a lot more to be done,” he said, “One thing can help prevent people becoming prey to traffickers is creating better employment opportunities in the country.”
Moeen cited the example of Europe where, he said, trafficking was still a threatening reality despite the availability of modern technology and huge finances. “If the European Union cannot overcome the problem with unlimited resources, how can we do?” he asked.
But he did not mention whether the connivance of immigration authorities was also a reason for the menace in Europe like in Pakistan. “NADRA has the largest integrated database and steps are underway to make it more dynamic and vibrant,” he informed the participants.
The conference, which was organised by the Ministry of Interior, was aimed at developing linkages among concerned ministries and departments of federal and provincial governments to share information and data on cases relating to human trafficking, smuggling and immigration.
Moeen said that 90 million people had been registered with NADRA and 59 million had been issued identity cards. He said after the improvement in the system, now it was very difficult to get more than one ID card for an individual.
It was the general consensus of the conference that there is a need to create awareness among the people not to go abroad through illegal means. In this way they could end up in jails abroad.
The participants also stressed the need to address the root causes of people travelling abroad illegally. Usually they go abroad for better future, they said and added mere enforcement of law could not stem human trafficking and there was a need to create more jobs opportunities in the country particularly in rural areas. The conference was attended by representatives of concerned ministries and departments and diplomatic missions.
Source: Business Recorder