UNODC launches TIP, SOM project for strengthening FIA

By Adnan Rafique

ISLAMABAD: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Office with the implementing partner Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Tuesday launched a project ‘Combating Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) in Pakistan’.
The scope of project is laid down for two years, a joint initiative by the government of Canada and the UNODC and it reaffirms that combating human trafficking and migrant smuggling is of the highest importance for Pakistan, Canada, and the UNODC as a whole.
This project is financially supported by the government of Canada through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. This project is a coordinated response to the TIP and SOM and aims to strengthen the capacity of the FIA for its fight against the TIP and SOM.
“The support from the government of Canada through this project will strengthen the national policies. It will strengthen the capacity of FIA and police to combat TIP and SOM; raise awareness amongst the risk group, public and relevant Pakistani authorities, and NGOs. It will also build the capacity of the national authorities to protect and reintegrate victims of trafficking and vulnerable smuggled migrants, especially women and children,†said Dr Jeremy Milsom, Representative, UNODC Pakistan in his opening remarks.
In addressing the event, Wendy Gilmour, Canada’s High Commissioner to Pakistan said, “Canada commends government of Pakistan’s commitment to fight human trafficking and migrant smuggling and we are pleased to work with UNODC as a partner in support of the government of Pakistan’s efforts in these areas.
Human trafficking is a crime, representing an assault on the fundamental human rights of its victims. Improved data gathering and analysis will assist in combating trafficking and migrant smuggling, helping Pakistan address transnational crime and stop those who would prey on some of the world’s most vulnerable for their own gain. Canada will continue to work alongside Pakistan and other global partners in fighting trafficking and smuggling operations to support safe migration’ .
The project is launched with the roll out of two days training on data collection and management. The purpose of the training is to reinforce the importance of disaggregation of TIP and SOM data, its adequate collection, and the needs to understand the differences between TIP and SOM.
Speaking about the project, FIA Director General Sana Ullah Abbasi said, “The FIA, with the support of UNODC and the government of Canada will improve prosecution of traffickers, smugglers and protect and support victims and witnesses, while upholding the rule of law and in recognition of human rights.
The project is aligned with FIA’s National Action Plan to combat TIP and SOM (2021 “ 2025), which was developed by FIA with the assistance of UNODC.’
He also said, “The training helped participants understand the techniques to expand their knowledge on the type of data that should be collected, its usefulness, the need for gender-segregated data and characteristics of good data.’
The launching ceremony took place in the presence of the senior representatives of the FIA and High Commission of Canada in Pakistan.