Human trafficking in Afghanistan

According to the 2015 annual Department of state report the most target group of human trafficking in Afghanistan are children who end up in carpet making and brick factories, domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, begging, transnational drug smuggling, and assistant truck driving within Afghanistan.

“The bottom line is that this is no time for complacency. Right now, across the globe, victims of human trafficking are daring to imagine the possibility of escape, the chance for a life without fear, and the opportunity to earn a living wage. I echo the words of President Obama and say to them: We hear you, and we will do all we can to make that dream come true. In recent decades, we have learned a great deal about how to break up human trafficking networks and help victims recover in safety and dignity. In years to come, we will apply those lessons relentlessly, and we will not rest until modern slavery is ended.” – John F. Kerry, Secretary of State

Bacha-Bazi 

The reports mentioned that :”Some Afghan families knowingly sell their children into prostitution, including for bacha baazi
bachabazi—where men, sometimes including government officials and security forces, use young boys for social and sexual entertainment. Some law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges accept bribes from or use their relationships with perpetrators of bacha baazi to allow them to escape punishment”. Boys from Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghlan, Kunduz, and Balkh provinces in the north, as well as those traveling unaccompanied, are particularly vulnerable to trafficking.

Reports indicated some government and security officials engaged in the practice of bacha baazi. The AIHRC’s report revealed the majority of those who engage in bacha baazi pay bribes to or have relationships with law enforcement, prosecutors, or judges that effectively exempt them from prosecution. Reports indicated some law enforcement officials facilitated trafficking and raped sex trafficking victims.

However, there was no progress reported toward fulfilling the goals of the action plan signed in January 2011 to combat the practice of bacha baazi by the Afghan National Security Forces.

Selling own children

Some Afghan families knowingly sell their children into prostitution, including for bacha baazi—where men, sometimes including government officials and security forces, use young boys for social and sexual entertainment.

Other families send their children to obtain employment through labor brokers and the children end up in forced labor. Opium-farming families sometimes sell their children to settle debts with opium traffickers.

Abuse of Afghans out of the country

Men, women, and children in Afghanistan often pay intermediaries to assist them in finding employment, primarily in Iran, Pakistan, India, Europe, or North America; some of these intermediaries force Afghan citizens into labor or prostitution after their arrival. Afghan women and girls are subjected to prostitution and domestic servitude primarily in Pakistan, Iran, and India. Afghan boys and men are subjected to forced labor and debt bondage in agriculture and construction, primarily in Iran, Pakistan, Greece, Turkey, and the Gulf states. Some Afghan boys are found in sex trafficking in Greece after paying high fees to be smuggled into the country.

Afghan government 

The Government of Afghanistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While victims of trafficking were routinely prosecuted and convicted as criminals for moral crimes, the government failed to hold the vast majority of traffickers criminally accountable for their offenses. Official complicity remained a serious problem and political will to combat the crime was low. Law enforcement and judicial officials continued to have a limited understanding of human trafficking, and the government did not develop or employ systematic procedures for the identification and referral of victims to protective services.

Edited by: Amazon Rezai

Read more: BBC 

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