The Outcome of Two Days Regional Discussion amongst Countries with Common Boundaries on Combating Human Trafficking

August 27-28,2018

The Civil Society Organizations  of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan held a joint conference to promote cooperation amongst civil society organizations in the boundaries of Afghanistan and neighboring countries for combating human trafficking and migrants smuggling  with participation of His Excellency Abdul Basir Anwar- Minister of Justice, John Bass- U.S. Ambassador to Kabul, General Director of IOM and representatives of civil society organizations of the regional countries at the Government Media and Information Center yesterday.

In this two days forum, representatives of civil societies of Afghanistan and four neighboring countries discussed the establishment of a regional civil society network, development of a roadmap, an action plan and furthering cooperation to combat ominous phenomenon of human trafficking. Following the holistic discussions, it was agreed that the regional network comprised of civil societies be formed; Quinquennial strategy for this network be prepared; the network should have an action plan and specific budget and ought to convene annual meetings after implementation of the strategy, and present its report annually; these organizations need to investigate that what changes have shaped in the condition of regional countries in terms of human trafficking; establishment of a hotline with specific number for the purpose of combating human trafficking in the regional countries; and making ease in issuance of visa amongst the countries.

John Bass, U.S Ambassador to Kabul, emphasized on collaborations between states and civil societies of the regional countries and stated: if no collaboration exists amongst states and the countries act by themselves, they will not succeed in combating human trafficking. He stated that human trafficking criminals must be trialed, and its victims must be supported until the time they integrate into the society. Ambassador Bass added that human trafficking is not only an issue in Afghanistan but also it does exist at international level. He considered the establishment of human trafficking online database an effective step in Afghanistan and praised the achievements of the Afghan Government towards combating human trafficking. He promised for providing further support to combat this sinister phenomenon.

Dr. Abdul Basir Anwar- Minister of Justice thanked USA, USAID and IOM for their cooperation availed to the Ministry of Justice and asserted that human trafficking is the second financial source of Mafia network after the drugs smuggling. He stated that High Commission on Combating Human Trafficking is formed of 16 governmental and non-governmental institutions that so far has conducted so many significant activities. He added that this phenomenon has been criminalized in Afghanistan Laws. Minister of Justice further stated that they has sought the attention of governments in many regional conferences for combating this phenomenon.

Minister of Justice asked the U.S. ambassador to cooperate with the Ministry of Justice in development of online database in 34 provinces of Afghanistan. He emphasized on further cooperation of regional countries and expressed hope that this conference would have fruitful outcome.

At the end, Laurence Hart- the General Director International Organization for Migration, thanked the Minister of Justice, U.S. ambassador and civil societies of regional countries and outlined that the goal of this conference is establishment of civil society organizations regional network, provision of roadmap and action plan for combating human trafficking.