Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, January 20th, 2019

Government Inaction Strengthens Human Smuggling

Insecurity in Afghanistan, though itself a huge problem, has given rise to many other issues as well. Among the problems majorly caused by insecurity are issues of displacement, migration and smuggling of the people. Finding no security in their villages, cities and provinces people are compelled to live their houses and find refuge at somewhere safer. However, they are not always successful to do so as they fall victim to human smugglers and ultimately tragedies and misfortunes. In the presence of such tragedies and their persistent rise, the government officials do not seem serious enough to take tangible actions. 
In a recent survey conducted by Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium (HRRAC), it was revealed that poor leadership within government and a surge in violence have led to a sharp rise in human smuggling in Afghanistan. It also revealed that at least 47 percent of Afghans believe that security threats, terrorist attacks and dysfunction within government are the fundamental causes for the increase in human smuggling. HRRAC chief Attaullah Khan said in a statement, "The research indicates that issues such as security threats in different regions of the country are the ‎main reasons for ‎an increase in human smuggling, which shows government's failure. Government has failed to prevent the growth of mafia involved in human smuggling."
Meanwhile, Sher Khan Sahak, a civil society activist said, "UN statistics show that the income achieved from human smuggling is between $8 and $31 billion USD annually while the annual income of drug smugglers is not equal to this."
Estimates show that only in the last two years around 300,000 people have left the country in search of peace and tranquility. And, most of them use the illegal ways to do so; therefore, they availed the services of the human smugglers and further strengthened the phenomenon of human smuggling and trafficking. Unfortunately, this continues to a large extent even now. This gives a sort of advantage to the smugglers to generate income by playing with the lives of the people.
Currently, Afghanistan is largely hit by this problem and there are many human smugglers in the country, particularly, in the capital Kabul who take advantage of the feelings of those who are desperate and have some sort of inclination for moving towards Europe and other countries.
A recent news report revealed that human smuggling has now taken an organized form and remains unattended by the government, while the people have nothing to do except crying in vain. The report also revealed that people mostly blast government for not doing anything to curb the human smuggling problem and not bringing the perpetrators to justice. People say that human smugglers go about their business freely and openly smuggle people to Europe and a number of money exchangers are also involved in the business; they help human smugglers by holding on to money paid to the smugglers by would-be migrants. This money serves as a type of guarantee and that when a migrant reaches his destination, the money exchanger hands over the money to the smuggler.
The most disturbing aspect of human smuggling is that it includes the risk of life. The illegal ways that are followed within the process include very risky attempts within which the people can easily lose their lives. The border control police or forces in different countries can even shoot the people who try to cross the border illegally. However, the facts show that people consider this choice much better than the lives they are having in their own countries and happily agree to opt it. Another fact is that the people being smuggled do not always involve young men. They also include children, women and even old people and this makes the process even more pathetic.
The government, in this regard, must take tangible steps to curb the situation. It requires adopting both short-term and long-term policies. In its short term policy, it must have no tolerance for the smugglers and strive to bring them to justice. It must make sure that the groups that are active at the moment must not be able to dodge the law-enforcing agencies and must not carry their activities without hesitation. In the long-run, the government can take steps to improve the situation that is compelling the people to leave their country. It can concentrate on the security situation, provide employment opportunities to the people and raise their standard of life. 

Government, though, says that it has the issue in consideration, in practice, it has not shown anything tangible. In fact, the government authorities seem to lack the will, intention and honesty. They do not seem to realize the difficulties that the common people have to face because of prevailing circumstances. Once, they start realizing the difficulties of the people that arise because of these issues and be ready to pursue them with true intention and honest efforts, there would be a definite improvement in this regard.