Women sleuths can help end human trafficking

25 women officers are participating in the training, including 17 from the Federal Investigation Agency

Our Correspondent November 03, 2020
Human trafficking can be found in any country, and its victims can be nearly anyone, experts say. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE


Women’s role in policing is pivotal to stop human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants in Asia and the Middle East.

This was stated by the European Union Ambassador to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara on Monday while addressing a five-day training session for female law enforcement officers in the federal capital. The training has been arranged by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), under the framework of the Global, Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants in Asia and the Middle East on investigative techniques related to Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and the Smuggling of Migrants (SOM).

As many as 25 women officers are participating in the training, including 17 from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and eight from the Punjab police.

“There are many benefits when women are better represented in law enforcement,” said Kaminara, adding, “In gender-based forms of violence, such as trafficking in persons, the security needs of men and women differ.”

Women, she said, bring skills which strengthen and improve the police force - and are less likely to resort to force. Women police officers can connect with communities on a different level- and their presence can help improve internal team dynamics.

“I hope to see more women represented in law enforcement to make justice more accessible to a broader spectrum of society,” she added.

Replying to a question, she said combating human trafficking and migrant smuggling was of the highest importance for the EU and the United Nations as a whole.

FIA Director General Wajid Zia said that the presence of women law enforcement officers was evidence of a strong partnership and a shared recognition of the indisputable correlation between women’s empowerment and global peace. He added that in recent years, the government has developed a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling (2015-2020), the enactment of TIP and SOM Laws in June 2018.

“These efforts show our strong commitment to addressing problems related to human trafficking and migrant smuggling,” he said.

Earlier, United Nations Office of Drug Control (UNODC) Pakistan Representative Jeremy Milsom said that women face many challenges.

"As a woman who is raising a family while pursuing a career, you face the challenge of doing two full-time jobs at once. Yet your positions as law enforcement officers place additional burdens on you at work and at home, requiring you to intervene, console, and protect other families while also maintaining peace within your community,” Milsom said, adding, “We deeply admire the dedication, skills and enthusiasm you bring to both these tasks."

Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2020.


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