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Human trafficking on rise in Afghanistan: IOM

AT-KABUL: Terming insecurity and increasing unemployment as main reasons behind human trafficking in Afghanistan, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Sunday that human trafficking has surged in the country which is a major concern for the association.

“This makes me concerned,” said Richard Danziger, IOM’s chief, adding that the organization has always helped victims of human trafficking in Afghanistan. He did not provide more details in this regard. “We have found an increase in number of human trafficking victims identified by the organization. The IOM helped 108 of the victims, and around 1,300 victims of human trafficking have been identified and helped by the organization since 2002,” he opined.

Richard shared the information at a 3-day workshop of fight against human trafficking in Kabul where tens of Afghan Border Police (ABP) participated.

This comes as daily tens of Afghans illegally travel to neighboring Iran and a number of European countries and Australia while most of them are faced with death threat.

In the meantime, the Interior Ministry said that it would struggle in collaboration with neighboring countries to fight against the phenomenon.

Spokesman for Ministry of Interior (MoI), Sediq Sediqi, said the Afghan police have the capacity to combat against human traffickers. “This is a serious problem but the national police have the capability and commitment to struggle against such groups. Human trafficking is a crime according to human rights,” he added.

Sediqi said that four human trafficking groups were arrested last year which a number of them were foreign nationals.

Afghan officials said that in a number of cases Afghanistan is used as a route of human trafficking from South Asian countries.

According to reports, there are children and women among victims of human trafficking which sometimes they are sexually harassed by human traffickers.

Afghan critics believe that the government should increase public awareness to overcome human trafficking in the country. They also suggest that concrete measures should be taken in airports as well as in borders to prevent human trafficking in Afghanistan.

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