Human Trafficking: A Global Security Concern

by Tayyaba Khurshid
Oneof the leading problems of the globalized world that has increased over time is human trafficking. It has increased in all parts of the world specially Africa, Asia and Europe. It involves kidnapping, trapping or sending individuals from one place to another either within state or outside. The individuals of underdeveloped states are trapped and manipulated in the name of good job and attractive salary and are sent to various countries where they are forced and coerced to labor, sex and other illegal activities. In many cases, the girls are even trafficked through proper channels of marriage but once reach the country of destination they are forced into prostitution and other immoral practices. The victims of human trafficking are not limited to women and man but many children are kidnapped by certain radical groups and are trained for terrorist activities. The trafficked individuals face physical and psychological torture and end up in emotional trauma. The women who are trafficked to run the illegal sex industries end up in sexually transmitted diseases and other reproductive health issues. Only Pakistan alone has many reported cases of trafficked individuals and there are many who were never able to escape and tell the world about the inhumanity they have faced in the hands of traffickers. Human Trafficking Stories Human trafficking have increased in Pakistan where many cases of Pakistani women came to forefront who were trafficked to China on the  name of marriage and later were used in China for illegal activities. The story of a twenty seven years old Natasha Khokhar is a living example of such exploitation where she was married off to Chinese man where  she was forced to live in isolation and pressurized to get pregnant. Fortunately, she was able to return back and took divorce by contacting authorities and was able to share her story. Another Pakistani Christian woman named Samiya David spent two months in China when her parents sold her to a Chinese man where she was tortured and abused. On her return to Pakistan, she was malnourished, disjointed and confused and was unable to talk properly. The lack of economic opportunities and education has also contributed towards kidnapping and servitude and Muhammad Arif is the one who was abducted and forced to work in quarries more than twenty years after which he managed to escape. The twenty years of life will never come back to him and he said he will live the rest of life in trauma as he spent twenty years in misery. Humanity sinks to a new low along with increase cases of Human Trafficking in Pakistan. Another heart wrenching story of a 14 years old girl living in North West region of KPK reveal the curse of human trafficking. Kanwal Shah on her return home from school was kidnapped by a couple of unknown man. She woke up in a brothel in Khanpur where she was forced to prostitution and when she refused she was tortured by owner and sexually abused. She remained there for 6 years after which she was able to escape with the help of a member of a brothel. In some cases the trafficked men are sent to conflict ridden areas to be used for militancy. The seven year old Affan was kidnapped by his Madrassah teacher in Gujranwala, Pakistan and sent to a village in Kyber Paktun Khwa. There he was given his first weapon and extensively trained for suicide missions. Affan was lucky to be rescued by one of his uncles but there are many who spend their whole lives in the hope of being rescued. Another 17 year old girl Asiya was kidnapped from her village near Sahiwal by a Sahiwal based terrorist group. She was tortured and gang raped and tossed into a room with other girls. She turned to drugs to numb her senses but when the numbness of drugs ended she always felt as if her live ended before it had even begun. She said that I would forget the humiliation, the disgrace and the torture I had suffered after I would take drug. There are millions of people who were unable to get back to their families and hence their stories untold and those who were able to escape the torture reveal the worst side of humanity. Conclusion Pakistan has been identified as main source of women trafficked globally. The wide prevalence of such crimes can be attributed to poverty, economic deprivation and lack of education. Although the government is institutionalizing the counter measures against human trafficking and other illegal crimes but the issue is still unsolved. The issue cannot be catered by individual states because the traffickers are not limited to a single state but they are running their mafias in various states and therefore collective cooperation by all states is required. It’s not a national but transnational crime and hence could only be solved by transnational actors. The developed states like US have also taken lead and Trafficking and Violence Protection Act was formed which helped the foreign governments to draft various anti-trafficking laws, strengthen the investigation procedures of culprits, persecuting the offenders and rescuing the victims. Although legal procedures exist to control human trafficking but the increasing number of cases each year throughput the world reveal the inability of states to cater the problem. All states and global and regional actors including International non-governmental organizations should join hands for common cause of humanity and work collectively to preserve human dignity and respect.

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