ISLAMABAD - The US State Department, in its recently released annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2022 has upgraded Pakistan’s status from Tier 2 watch list to Tier 2.

Those countries are categorised under Tier 2 which do not fully meet the minimum standards of Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) for the elimination of trafficking but are making significant efforts to fulfil minimum standards for elimination of trafficking.

The Pakistan government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, on its anti-trafficking capacity, according to the report. Therefore, Pakistan was upgraded to Tier 2, the report adds.

These efforts included increasing investigations, prosecutions and convictions under the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act (PTPA), 2018.

The report says that the government adopted best policy to provide protection to victims of human trafficking.

It adds: “The government allocated resources for the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) and amended the PTPA to remove provisions that allowed fines in lieu of imprisonment for sex trafficking crimes with women and children as victims.”

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in collaboration with other provincial departments increased implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) on victim identification, and referral, and organised training for stakeholders in collaboration with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), a spokesperson of the agency said while quoting the report.

The spokesperson remarked that the FIA authorities were committed to taking action against the elements involved in human trafficking while using all its available resources and abilities.