ISLAMABAD - President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday said that Pakistan was committed to combating the menace of human trafficking by establishing an effective coordination infrastructure to prosecute traffickers and protect victims.

Pakistan has embarked upon stringent anti-trafficking measures to enforce legal frameworks in line with international standards. Pakistan has enacted the Trafficking in Person Act 2018 to prevent and combat trafficking in persons, especially women and children. T

his law prescribes imprisonment of up to ten years for the perpetrators of such illegal acts, the president said in a message on the occasion of World Day against Human Trafficking being observed on July 30.

The president further said the National Coordination Committee on Human Trafficking had been constituted under the chair of the minister for interior.

The Committee is responsible for steering national efforts in the fight against all forms of human trafficking, including bonded labour and sex trafficking, a press release quoted the president as saying.

All relevant departments at the provincial level including social welfare, labour, police, child protection and NGOs are made part of provincial and district anti-human trafficking committees for close coordination to effectively identify and protect victims of human trafficking, he added.

The president said the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), had prepared National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling (2021-2025).

The action plan highlighted the roles of different stakeholders and provides a holistic framework for the national response, he observed.

The president said the day against trafficking in persons was observed annually on the 30th of July to raise awareness regarding the plight of victims of human trafficking and to promote and protect their rights. The day was being observed to bring attention to a crime that leaves a lasting toll on human lives and society as a whole.?

It is one of the most serious human rights violations that brings high profits to traffickers through the exploitation of human beings by illegal means such as force, fraud, or deception, he added.

The president also appreciated and acknowledged the efforts of the federal and provincial governments and all other relevant stakeholders who came together to fight this crime.