Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, October 20th, 2018

Human Trafficking in Afghanistan

Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for different purposes. The most dominating of these purposes are forced labor, begging, sexual exploitation and even terrorism. Women and children are the easiest victims to human trafficking. The societies marked with disorder, economic instability and deteriorated law and order situation mostly suffer from the problem of human trafficking.

The people, compelled because of their pathetic plight, fall easy prey to it and ultimately the traffickers gain the maximum benefit. Human trafficking has taken the form of a lucrative illegal trade now, with the involvement of international mafia and criminal groups. It is the second most lucrative illegal trade only after drug trafficking.

And according to the estimations of International Labor Organization about 12 million people from More than 100 countries are trafficked each year, with 70% being women of less than 25 years of age.

Unfortunately Afghanistan has been one of the countries, where human trafficking is very common. According to the latest report of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) the poverty stricken people whose hopelessness have doubled with the consistent insecurity, some way or the other, become victims and they are trafficked to different parts of the country and even in the neighboring countries where they are tested by further misery.

According to the report 60% of the victims are trafficked with in the country while the remaining 40% are trafficked to Iran and Pakistan. The report reveals, "The victims are exploited both inside and outside the country for forced labor, prostitution, drug selling and many more illegal activities." It is really pathetic to know that most of these victims are girls.

The girls are married before their legal age of marriage. The report includes that among the victims 81% got married before reaching 18 years of age, and out of this number about 50% were married before the age of 15. After marriage these girls are not treated like wives rather they are treated with severe kind of exploitation and misconduct.

There have been many occasions when wives are trafficked and pushed to prostitution by their own husbands and daughters by their own parents. The children who are orphan are further closer to the possibility of being the victims. But the most major reason has been severe destitution. As per the findings of the report about half of the victims' families suffered from shortage of basic requirements of life and parents were not able to provide proper support to their children. About 17% were housewives, and 7% beggars and street children.

Another way of victimizing has been playing tricks. Most of the women are victimized in this particular way. They are promised luxurious lives, marriages or great job opportunities but once they are trafficked, the outcome comes out to be quiet different from what had been promised and they get caught in the merciless circle of misery.

There have been occasions when the victims are used for the purpose of organ trafficking, which has also proved to be a luxurious illegal trade. And there are occasions when the trafficked children have to loss their eyes, legs, arms or other parts of body to be made fit for begging profession, because such children are more likely to receive the attention and mercy of the people and can collect more money.

Human trafficking is one of the severest crimes, with far reaching impacts. This can result into many other crimes and vices in the world in general and in our country in particular; whereas our country is already suffering from myriads of problems. To control this menace in the short term, strict penalties must not only be designed but carried out as well. Sever punishment to few in the forefront can greatly discourage many others. And in the long run, better economic policies must be adopted by the government in order to help the people out of the quagmire of destitution, which is one of the most basic reasons of the problem.