SSDO launched helpline for providing free legal aid to the victims of human trafficking and bonded labor

Islamabad, July 15, 2022: Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO) has launched a helpline “0333-1110566” which will provide free legal aid to the victims of human trafficking and will also serve as a main point of contact for the victims of human trafficking and bonded labor. SSDO initiated the helpline with the collaboration of Barrister Abdus Saleem Law Firm. This is a step further into combatting the issue at country level, as well as a source of information for all stakeholders, including the general public. The helpline will provide a platform to the potential victims especially the communities with high ratio of trafficking in person that contains both human trafficking for sex and bonded labor, i.e., brick kiln and agri-farms in Pakistan. The victims or their relatives can lodge the complaint which will be further taken up by a team of expert lawyers who will provide free legal aid and assistance to the victims. The helpline can be accessed freely from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm on the working days.
Pakistan is a country that faces the challenges of human trafficking as source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons (TIP), specifically forced labour and prostitution. SSDO is running a project on trafficking in person to raise awareness among the masses regarding the heinous crime and bring the government, media, academia and all other stakeholders on one platform to work together on raising the issue and curbing it. The legal framework to curb the TIP in Pakistan include PTPA 2018, PSMA 2018, Emigration Ordinance (EO 1979), Federal Investigation Agency Act (FIAA) 1974, Passport Act (PA) 1974, and Foreigners Act (FA)1946. However, there is no proper record keeping against registration of cases of trafficking under these laws.
On the launching of the helpline, Syed Kausar Abbas, Executive Director, SSDO said “A helpline is a way to ensure that victims of trafficking and bonded labour are properly identified and referred to relevant institutions for assistance and protection.”
Shizza Qureshi Advocate, Director Barrister Abdus Saleem Law Firm express her pleasure in joining hand with SSDO for the cause, she said “It is an honor and privilege to be part of this initiative. Human trafficking is a heinous crime and our firm is ready to help poor and needy victims.”

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