US Includes Afghanistan on Human Trafficking List

The US State Department in its annual report which was published on Monday, included Afghanistan on the list of countries engaged in a “policy or pattern” of human trafficking and forced labor or whose security forces or government-backed armed groups recruit or use child soldiers.

According to the report, the current government of Afghanistan did not make any efforts to prevent trafficking in Afghanistan.

“After August 15, the Taliban did not investigate, prosecute, or convict any traffickers, nor did it identify or protect any trafficking victims or make any efforts to prevent trafficking. The Taliban shut down shelters and protective services for victims of crime, including trafficking victims— leaving vulnerable populations without support,” the report reads.

But the Islamic Emirate denies claims made in the report, saying that Afghanistan is a secure place for all Afghans.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has prevented all illegal actions such as human trafficking and it has taken decisive measures against it,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.

In addition to Afghanistan, the new state-sponsors section listed Russia, Burma, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and five other countries with a “documented ‘policy or pattern’ of human trafficking,” forced labor in government-affiliated sectors, sexual slavery in government camps or that employ or recruit child soldiers.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that currently there are nearly 25 million trafficking victims worldwide.

“The scale of this problem is vast. There are nearly 25 million people currently victims of trafficking. 25 million people. The United States is committed to fighting it because trafficking destabilizes societies, it undermines economies, it harms workers, it enriches those who exploit them, it undercuts legitimate business, and most fundamentally, because it is so profoundly wrong,” he said.

Meanwhile, legal experts believe that this report may have bad effects on Afghanistan.

“Human trafficking and forced labor are rejected and do not have any legal justification,” said Rohullah Sahkhizada, legal expert.

The US State Department added that it is trying to arrest human traffickers and prevent crimes related to human trafficking.