Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pakistan: Ban Bride Price

From the Daily Times:
Legal experts Sunday demanded that the NWFP government immediately ban bride price and effectively implement the National Plan of Action 2005 to combat women trafficking in the province.

The demand came at a two-day consultative workshop on countering women trafficking organized by the Community Appraisal and Motivation Programme (CAMP) in collaboration with DFID (UK Department for International Development) and UNDP (United Nation Development Programme) under the Gender Justice and Protection Project (GJP). The workshop covered both legal and humanitarian aspects of women trafficking.

Niaz Muhammad and Anis Badshah Bukhari, member inspection team and additional registrar Peshawar High Court respectively, highlighted the legal aspect of women trafficking and demanded that all sections pertaining to the punishment of perpetrators must be amended and due role of police and other agencies be included so as to address the issue comprehensively. Federal Ombudsman Director Mashood Mirza said that every year hundreds of thousands of women and children were trafficked both locally and internationally to use them in heinous crimes like prostitution, bonded labor and inhuman sports like camel race. Human rights activist Rakhshanda Naz lamented the poor performance of Pakistan in the TIP report of 2009 that placed it on tier 2 watch list.

“Early child marriages, IDPs influx and rapid surge in poverty in the recent past have also contributed to the trafficking of women and girls,” she said. CAMP Chief Executive Naveed Ahmad Shinwari said that drastic reforms in laws and inter-institutional coordination among the law-enforcement agencies and CSOs would help curb the issue.

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