Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, June 17th, 2019

The Scourge of Trafficking in Persons

July 30 was celebrated as World Day against Trafficking in Persons or Human Trafficking in many countries around the world. The day was adopted by United Nations General Assembly in 2010, through the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Person. The main objective of the Plan was to urge governments worldwide to take coordinated and consistent measures to defeat this scourge. The Plan, in fact, calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programs in order to boost development and strengthen security worldwide. One of the crucial provisions in the Plan is the establishment of a UN Voluntary Trust Fund for victims of trafficking, especially women and children. UN Secretary General, António Guterres, on the occasions, said in his statement, “Human trafficking takes many forms and knows no borders. Human traffickers too often operate with impunity, with their crimes receiving not nearly enough attention. This must change.”
Human trafficking is, undoubtedly, a serious international issue these days. As poverty and discriminations have escalated in different parts of world, there have been increased probabilities of human trafficking. Each day hundreds of people are trafficked from one place to another for different purposes. Throughout the process, the people who are trafficked serve as a commodity that can be bought and sold whether they agree upon it or not. In most of the cases they do not even realize that they are being bought and sold. It is now a complex phenomenon and it involves different individuals and groups. The whole process actually includes these individuals and groups as various players at different locations that take the victims to their desired place. The techniques used by different individuals and groups differ from one another and they include both legal and illegal ways of transactions, travels and even crossing the borders.
Human trafficking is a trend in the countries where the standard of life is not satisfactory, and people suffer because of lack of economic facilities or they are threatened by instability that has even jeopardized their lives. Feeling dissatisfied from life or threatened by danger, they develop hopes to bring about better changes in their lives and fall easy prey to human traffickers who promise with them better future, which are never turned into action.
In Afghanistan, recently it has been observed that there has been a rise in human trafficking. IOM has also noted a steady increase in young females trafficked from bordering countries in Afghanistan. Many victims are children who end up in carpet-making and brick factories, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation and drug smuggling. This is really a matter of great concern. Females who are otherwise considered as the ‘honor’ of the society are left at the mercy of the traffickers and they ultimately end up in the houses of the ‘foreigners’ who can use them the way they want. Does not this situation awake the so-called, dignity, of Afghan men?
The dissatisfied, insecure and poverty-stricken life has compelled the people to search for unconventional and easy ways of earning livelihood. Moreover, the series of civil wars and religious fanaticism have made the life miserable for most of the people and many have migrated out of the country, and many others are now being victimized by human trafficking. Since the downfall of Taliban, the circumstances have seemed to improve but there are serious concerns after the withdrawal of international forces and return of instability. People are not sure about their futures. There are many who do not know what to do with their lives. Uncertainty prevails everywhere. There is no solace for the victims of poverty, instability and war. Families just think of finding ways of guaranteeing their survival. They send their children and even daughters out of their houses to earn some morsels of food. They do not hesitate even if they become the targets of the curse of begging, street crimes and now this monster human trafficking.
Human trafficking is really a serious crime and all the ways that strengthen the process must be checked properly through strong legal measures. The support and assistance provided through different NGO’s can play a role in highlighting this issue and taking certain measures to control it but it will not be possible to solve the problem without the involvement of the government and the people as a whole. Unfortunately, Afghan government has seemingly diverted its attentions completely towards the issue of insecurity, where it has not been able to achieve anything worthwhile. Therefore, it requires diverting attentions to some of the other major issues as well that are influencing the people to a large extent and pushing them into jeopardy. Above all, the issues like human trafficking do not only influence the individuals who are being trafficked but also their entire families;and ultimately such issues will bring bad name to the nation as whole. Therefore, the government must make all sorts of effort to nip the evil in the bud. 
At the same time, Afghan government must make sure that ordinary people are provided the rudimentary requirements of life and stable political and social circumstances so that they should not go for such options.