WHAT TO DO
Ministry of Women Development (MoWD) manages crisis centres in 18 different cities of the country. In Karachi, you can call 021-9920-6770.
Human trafficking is against the law and recruiters, transporters and control
lers can be arrested and imprisoned. If you or someone you know is at risk or is a victim of trafficking, please immediately contact the FIA Helpline 111-345-786 and ask for the Anti-Trafficking Unit.
WHO CAN HELP
Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) – As part of its free legal assistance, LHRLA directs its clients to private shelters, but the Pakistan Government willing to help with their repatriation, legalization of status, or otherwise.
LHRLA was established in 1989 with the help of fifty lawyers to provide free legal aid for those who could not afford the expenses of litigation. It has helped women and children who have been imprisoned on false charges or owing to other injustices. A few years ago, LHRLA started getting letters and requests for help from Bangladeshi women in jail. They then began research and data collection and are now actively advocating their cases.
It has been extremely difficult to secure a release from jail because there is a very strong network of powerful pimps. Despite threats, they say they have successfully advocated for over 500 Bangladeshi women and children victims of this illegal trade. Those already released are rehabilitating at various shelters, mostly at Edhi homes.
The Asia Watch Report recommends certain action steps to effectively stem this atrocious trade in women and children.
Punishments for trafficking:
- Planning human trafficking into or out of Pakistan can be punishable by five years of imprisonment and fine.
- Executing the plan can be punishable by seven years of imprisonment and fine.
- If you have been kidnapped, abducted or even if someone has attempted to kidnap you, they can be sent to jail for 10 years and fined.
- If anyone takes, hides or destroys your personal documents (like passport), or restricts or even attempts to restrict your freedom to move or travel, they can be sent to jail for five years and fined.
- If someone hires a trafficked individual by coercion, they can be sent to jail for seven years and fined.
- If the traffickers are part of an organized criminal group, each member can be imprisoned for ten to fourteen years.
- If trafficked for exploitative entertainment, the trafficker and person who has hired the victim can be imprisoned for ten to fourteen years
- Specifically, if a woman or child has been trafficked, the trafficker can be sent to jail for ten years and fined. If kidnapping is involved of a woman or child, this can go up to fourteen years of imprisonment
- If a man or woman repeatedly trafficks, they can be jailed for up to fourteen years and fined.
All these offences are non-bailable i.e., if you decide to fill out an FIR against the perpetrator and the police arrest him/her, they cannot be bailed out by anyone.
Things to remember:
- Remember that your statement is voluntary – that means, you cannot be forced or pressured to appear in court.
- If you do decide to give a statement in court, you have the option to record your statement at the earliest, in order to save you any further emotional distress.
- According to Victim Assistance, Protection and Rehabilitation Ordinance (Rules 2004): Trafficked victims should be provided free legal aid by the Federal Government along with all arrangements and expenses for anything you might require during your stay here in Pakistan. Such as shelter, food, medical assistance- especially for children and women.
- The Government of Pakistan is responsible for your safe reparation. That is, all arrangements and expenses needed to get you back to your home country. If you do not desire to go back home, for whatever reason, Government officials should assist you in getting a work permit.
Warning signals that you are being lured into Trafficking:
- Does an opportunity sound too good to be true?
- Is it an opportunity to make a lot of money?
- Are you tempted by promises of a great new life?
- Will you receive a lot of material goods?
- Is someone offering to pay your travel expenses, saying they can be repaid once you start work?
- Have any promises been broken?
- Are you being promised marriage?
- Are you being kept in confinement or are you being exploited?
If the answers to any or most of the above is yes, then you are being lured into Trafficking, are in the process of being Trafficked or already have been trafficked.
What to do if you are a victim of trafficking:
- If you are afraid, have escaped your jailers, or those who are prostituting you or holding you in custody against your will, call the following numbers for help:
Madadgaar Helpline – From 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
LHRLA – From 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM – 021-3521-9902 / 021-3567-4031
Crisis Centre, Ministry of Women’s Development – Legal Officer – 0300-290-8535
APWA Legal Aid Call Centre Helpline – 111-279-252
Panah Shelter Home – From 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM – 021-3636-0025 / 021-3636-0028
WAR Against Rape – 021-3583-0903 / 021-3537-3008
CPLC – 021-111-222-345 / 021-3568-2222 / 021-3568-3336
Where to go:
Seek shelter at any of the following:
- Panah Shelter Home – Plot No. ST-6, Block 10, Federal B Area, Karachi, (Near Aisha Manzil)
- Edhi Welfare Centre – Head Office: 021-3242-1920 Sarrafa Bazar, Mithadar, Karachi.
- Gosha-e-Afiat – Al Hifazat Trust, A/62, Block Q, North Nazimabad
Seek advice from Madadgaar or LHRLA on their Helpline before you give your statement to the police or in court. LHRLA &Madadgaar provide Legal Aid and support to trafficked women & children with the aid of International NGOs (IMO) & the FIA.
For Trafficked women it is best to seek legal help from NGOs who provide help to women & official institutions of the Government rather than being afraid of them.