International Conference on Combating Trafficking and Bonded Labor of Women and Girls in Pakistan

Remarks of DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION SCHOFER: “I would like to thank our partners at the Sustainable Social Development Organization and the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network for bringing together like-minded individuals to discuss strategies to combat trafficking in persons in Pakistan.

The challenging reality of human trafficking is that criminals exploit many systems of communication, finance, transportation, and commerce – all of which were originally designed for the collective public good.  Traffickers constantly evolve their networks to take advantage of emerging technologies and migratory trends. They use the same tools essential to connecting and enriching our global community for their transnational criminal activities.

This is precisely why tackling a global problem like human trafficking requires a global coalition – one that transcends borders and industries.  Getting ahead of the traffickers requires governments, civil society, front-line workers, and the private sector to forge meaningful partnerships and harness advanced tools to counter these criminal entities effectively.

By leveraging technology, we can better address the nexus between finance and human trafficking and better detect online exploitation.  By sharing information and resources, we can better equip front-line stakeholders to track and respond to evolving trafficking trends.  By improving investigations and prosecutions of trafficking cases, we can bring more perpetrators of these crimes to justice.  And by partnering with survivors, we can better establish trauma-informed anti-trafficking policies and strategies.  Together, these efforts can help us bring an end to human trafficking.

The U.S. Embassy is committed to supporting Pakistan’s efforts in addressing this critical human rights issue.  While we welcome the progress made in the fight against human trafficking, there is more work to be done. Together, we will, Insha’Allah, continue to improve and adapt our efforts to combat these criminal entities and build stronger partnerships with the Pakistani government, businesses, survivor leaders, and NGOs.  Through these collaborative efforts, we will make human trafficking a relic of the past”. 

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