An ordinance to prevent and combat human trafficking, especially of women and children, was on Tuesday presented to Senate and subsequently passed.
The ordinance, presented by Minister of State for Interior Mohammad Tallal Chaudhry, specifies incarceration terms and monetary fines to be levied on persons found involved in human trafficking.
“Any person who commits an offence of trafficking in persons shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to seven years or with fine which may extend to one million rupees or with both,” the Ordinance reads.
The incarceration period is even lengthier if the victim is a child or a woman, per the promulgated decree. “If the offence of trafficking is committed against a child or a woman, the person who commits the offence shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to 10 years and which shall not be less than two years or with fine which may extend to one million rupees or with both,” the ordinance states.
The ordinance states that police will investigate cases of domestic trafficking cases but adds that for cases cases that involve “transportation of the victim into or out of Pakistan”, the Federal Investigation Agency will take charge.
Meanwhile, human trafficking has also been declared a non-bailable offence.
“This ordinance is the need of time,” Chaudhry said while presenting it, at which Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwalla questioned if the order is a result of government caving in to international pressure.
“What kind of international pressure is the government facing regarding this bill?” asked Mandviwalla.
“Why are you forcing yourself to accept this bill. Senate’s session has been going on for two weeks, why has this Ordinance been presented on the final day?” — queries Chaudhry did not respond to.
His fellow PML-N member, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, however, explained that fingers were being pointed towards Pakistan internationally, which is why the bill was presented.