Trafficking in Persons Commission Launches First Training Manual to Combat Human Trafficking in Afghanistan
Kabul – The Afghan High Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (TIP Commission) has organized a workshop in Kabul to finalize a training manual for Afghan government and NGO stakeholders on identifying and assisting victims of trafficking in Afghanistan.
The Commission, which includes representatives from government ministries, the judiciary and civil society, drew up the Training Manual in Trafficking in Persons, Afghanistan 2017 following a series of consultations with its constituent agencies.
The manual, which is the first of its kind in Afghanistan, is part of a multi-year USAID-funded, IOM project designed to strengthen the country’s capacity to respond to trafficking in persons.
It will be used by national and international stakeholders to train Afghan law enforcement agencies including border police, immigration officials, members of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), NGOs specializing in counter trafficking, shelter managers, and community leaders such as members of shuras, imams and university lecturers.
The US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report describes Afghanistan as a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking.
Men, women, and children are often exploited in bonded labour. An initial debt assumed by a worker as part of the terms of employment is exploited, ultimately entrapping other family members, sometimes for multiple generations. This is particularly prevalent in the brick-making industry in eastern Afghanistan, where entire families are trapped in debt bondage.
Other victims include children exploited in carpet making, domestic servitude, commercial sex, begging, poppy cultivation, transnational drug smuggling and the trucking industry.
Afghans returning from Iran and Pakistan are particularly vulnerable to trafficking and unaccompanied minors are often targeted by smugglers and traffickers in the communities where returnees have re-settled.
“Human trafficking is a huge concern in Afghanistan. This manual will fill a knowledge gap and build the capacity of law enforcement and other responders to recognize the crime, identify victims and provide effective victim support,’ said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission Laurence Hart.