Speaking at the inauguration of the Afghanistan Network for Combating Trafficking in Persons (ANCTIP) on Wednesday, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that the legal and judicial institutions should implement the law on human smugglers.
Afghanistan Network for Combating Trafficking in Persons (ANCTIP) is the first national referral network of NGOs and media to combat human trafficking. The Afghanistan Network for combating trafficking in persons is part of a multi-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded program, implemented by the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The CEO meanwhile raised concerns over the increase of human smuggling.
“The establishment of the anti-trafficking network is a fundamental need. Unfortunately, groups of smugglers in Afghanistan have gained ground because of various problems the country faces such as security threats,” said Abdullah.
Meanwhile, US ambassador in Afghanistan John Bass has said that the expansion of threats, violence and instability have been the main source of human smuggling in the country.
"In countries that are unstable, where the rule of law is not respected or enforced, penal codes that applies unfortunately to significant areas of Afghanistan and this is one of the problems and challenges that this country faces along with many other countries," said US ambassador John Bass.
ANCTIP is expected to increase public awareness about ways to prevent the trend and also increase efforts to implement the law on human smugglers.
“Trafficking in persons is a serious concern in Afghanistan. Strengthening the capacity of national NGOs to help the Afghan government in effective implementation of the new law to combat trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants is the key purpose of this network,” said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission Laurence Hart.
ANTCIP will also build public awareness about the new Trafficking in Persons Law of 2017, and advocate for the Government of Afghanistan to enforce the law.
“Human trafficking continues to affect the lives of millions of people,” said USAID Mission Director Herbert Smith. “It is important to focus on the rights and needs of victims in the fight against trafficking in persons.”
Abdullah added: “The Afghan government is committed to counter human trafficking; there is still much to be done. It is crucial now more than ever to cooperate, coordinate, and share responsibility in the fight against human trafficking.”
ANTCIP comes amid an ongoing exodus of Afghans from the country – many of whom pay human smugglers a vast sum of money to get them out of the country.