July 30th marks the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Pakistan has been downgraded from ‘Tier 2’ to ‘Tier 2 Watch List’ in the 2020 TIPR by the US State Department. Almost 19,954 trafficking victims were reported in Pakistan. Our government has significantly decreased investigations and prosecutions against sex-trafficking. Due to a steep rise in unemployment, overseas employment promoters entrap Pakistanis in sex trafficking and bonded labour.

How long will our government turn a blind eye to the plight of victims? We as Pakistanis should combat human trafficking through public awareness, outreach, education, and advocacy campaigns. We should protect and assist victims by providing shelters health, psychological, legal, and vocational services, and lastly by prosecuting human trafficking, the traffickers must be incarcerated for the rest of their life.

We all have a responsibility to advocate for a more equal world that doesn’t allow slavery of any kind to exist.