Lahore (Friday 19th May 2023): The Advocacy and Awareness Session on combatting trafficking in persons and bonded labor in Punjab was held at the University of Home Economics, Lahore on Friday. The session was organized by the Women Development Centre, University of Home Economics (UHE) Lahore, and Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSD0).
Keynote speakers at the Session included Prof. Dr. Kanwal Ameen, Vice Chancellor, UHE, CEO of Punjab Charity Commission, Focal Person FATF & Trafficking in Persons, Govt. of Punjab, Mr. Shahzad Aamir, SSPO Lahore Police, Ms. Nida Chattah, Chairperson Child Protection Bureau & Welfare, Ms. Sarah Ahmad and Executive Director SSDO, Syed Kausar Abbas.
At the event, Focal Person FATF & Trafficking in Persons, Govt. of Punjab, Shahzad Amir highlighted the steps being done at the provincial help to fight the crimes like Human trafficking & bonded labor as they are blatant Human Rights violations.
He also added that raising awareness among students enables them to become agents to change and play their roles in the eradication of these crimes.
Chairperson Child Protection & Welfare Bureau, Punjab, Ms. Sara Ahamd shared that the Bureau has been taking effective steps to uproot these crimes by ensuring the protection of children from exploitation. She encouraged the students to use the Child Helpline to report any case of Child abuse and neglect and assured immediate and effective action.
The Vice-Chancellor University of Home Economics, Prof. Dr. Kanwal Ameen said that as an institution of Higher Education, we recognize our responsibility to educate and empower our students so that they do not fall prey to crimes such as trafficking in persons and bonded labor.
We encourage and appreciate awareness sessions like these so that our students are informed about the prevailing dangers of cyber as well as physical spaces and the ways to navigate safely through them.
Speaking on this occasion, SSPO Lahore Police, Ms. Nida Chattah explained the role of the Punjab Police in combatting the menace of trafficking and bonded labor. She encouraged female students and faculty to install the Women Safety App which is designed particularly to provide women safety from all forms of exploitation and emphasized that law enforcement efforts should be enhanced to break the vicious cycle of trafficking and bonded labor.
Syed Kausar Abbas shed light upon the topic by explaining the different forms of exploitation such as forced labor, forced marriages, sexual exploitation, and removal of organs.
He shared that Pakistan ranks 8th among 167 countries in terms of the prevalence of modern slavery but the National institutions such as Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) are taking effective steps to combat modern forms of Human Trafficking and Bonded Labor.
Dr. Iram Rubab, Director of Women Development Centre, and Student Affairs, UHE, delivered the welcome note. Addressing the students, she highlighted the significance of the awareness session as young students are increasingly becoming prone to human trafficking because of unsafe cyberspaces. Women and Children are disproportionately affected by these heinous crimes, she added.