Afghanistan: Urgent Need to Tackle Human Trafficking

According to a July, 2011, report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Afghanistan must develop strategies to raise awareness about the dangers of human trafficking, provide support to victims and prosecute perpetrators.

 

The report found that 60 percent of those trafficked remained inside Afghanistan while 40 percent were taken to Iran, Pakistan, and elsewhere.  The report states that most of those trafficked were girls who had been married before reaching the legal age of marriage; about 81 percent of the women and girls were married before 18, and of those, about 50 percent were married under the age of fifteen.  Of the 1,889 cases of trafficking in women and children cited in the report, about 29 percent of victims were forced into marriage after being raped, kidnapped, harassed, or exposed to violence. The report also states that more than half of the victims had been deprived of parental support and 1/3 of all victims were trafficked after being tricked.  Forty percent of the women and girls did not want to return home due to insecurity, poverty, political instability, fear of losing their life and prestige, and/or unemployment.  Of all of the women and girls interviewed, only 13 percent knew of a perpetrator who had been punished.

 

“We see it as an alarming problem because a huge number of women and children are vulnerable to trafficking in the country,” said Hussain Nussrat, child rights program coordinator with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. The heightened vulnerability is because poverty is still widespread, ongoing conflict is leaving children without parents, and early/forced marriages are still practiced widely.

 

 

Complied from: Afghanistan: Urgent Need to Tackle Human Trafficking, Summary Report on Investigation of Causes and Factors of Trafficking in Women and Children, (July 25, 2011).