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Afghanistan lags far behind in taming human trafficking

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KABUL: The U.S. State Department has ranked Afghanistan as the third deficient country in the world in the fight against human trafficking.

The US State Department in its 644-page annual report on the state of the fight against human trafficking devoted 15 pages to Afghanistan.

Concerned about continued recruitment and use of children in security forces with impunity, the report states that Afghan government has only done the bare minimum in eliminating human trafficking.

“Afghan government has prosecuted and convicted some members of security services for pedophilia, removing some child soldiers from security forces, and taking some steps to combat trafficking, but they are not enough,” it  said.

Kerry Johnston, head of the US Office of for Prevention of Human Trafficking, told a news conference late Thursday at the State Department that the U.S. would continue to work with the Afghan government.

“As the United States withdraws its forces from Afghanistan, we will continue to support the peaceful and stable Afghanistan. We will use our full diplomatic, economic, and full-fledged tools including supporting the Afghan government in combating human trafficking and caring for victims of trafficking,” said Johnston.

The State Department in this report calls for the prosecution of all those accused of trafficking, including military officials, and conviction of criminals, and prevention of employment and illegal use of children in security forces.

The US Embassy in Kabul also tweeted that although they acknowledge the government’s efforts to prosecute traffickers, especially those in official positions, they must take steps to prevent trafficking, protect victims, end pedophilia and prevent employment of child soldiers.

The Afghan government is also not satisfied with the measures taken to combat human trafficking. Aman Riyazat, a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, has said they are taking governing steps in the next three years, according to a plan by institutions of the High Commission for Combating Human Trafficking.

This is as the escalation of war and insecurity in Afghanistan has made it difficult for officials to combat human trafficking in the country.

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