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September 26, 2018
The Kabul Times

77 arrested on human-trafficking charges last year, Minister

KABUL: Minister of Justice Abdul Basir Anwar, in response to US State Department’s latest report on human trafficking in Afghanistan, said the government in Kabul had taken measures to deal with the challenge.

Days after concerns expressed by the US at the Afghan government’s failure to combat human trafficking, a minister said on Monday steps had been taken to address the issue.

The minister, also director of the High Commission on Human Trafficking/Smuggling, said Afghanistan had been upgraded to second position in terms of monitoring the crime.

The State Department assessed the work of various countries in the fight against human trafficking, placing them in different categories. Countries in first category, accepting human trafficking, are working to overcome the problem.

In the report, the US said Afghanistan was among the countries that had been unable to make progress in prevention of human trafficking, including sexual abuse, recruitment of children by security forces.

But the minister said 77 people were arrested in connection with human trafficking. Eighteen of them were imprisoned for medium term eight for long term. Four detainees were sentenced to life in jail and two others awarded death penalty last year.

Eleven of the detainees were acquitted, and cases of 31 others are under investigation. The minister said security organs had prevented the smuggling of 210 youth and more than 14,000 victims were counseled.

Amendments to the law on Combating Human Trafficking/Smuggling, the probation of human trafficking in this law and the adoption of a three-year plan (2018-2020) are among measure by the panel.

In response to a question about bacha bazi, he said a law had been enacted in support children but no punishment had been specified in it for the perpetrators.

Anwar said he had carefully studied the US report and believed the international community’s expectation should be met despite the ongoing war and other problems in the country.

The Kabul Times

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