Pakistan strongly rejects inclusion in CSPA list published by US State Department
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan categorically rejects the unsubstantiated and baseless inclusion in the ‘Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA) List’ published in the US State Department’s Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2021.
A statement issued by Foreign Office on Friday cited ‘Pakistan has rejected the unsubstantiated and baseless inclusion of the country in the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA) list as it does not support any non-state armed group, nor any entity recruiting or using child soldiers.’
‘Pakistan’s efforts in fighting non-state armed groups, including terrorist entities, were well recognized’, it further added that ‘The inclusion of Pakistan in the CSPA List depicts a factual error and lack of understanding. No state institution was consulted by the US prior to the publication of the report. Nor were any details provided of the basis on which the conclusion was reached.’
The Foreign Office restated that the South Asian country was ‘committed to fighting this scourge both at the national and international levels, reaffirming that Pakistan had taken a range of legislative and administrative actions in that regard during the last one year, including the approval of rules under the domestic Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Acts; National Action Plan 2021-25 prepared jointly by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); and enhancement of capacity building and inter-agency cooperation of law enforcement agencies involved in anti-human smuggling.’
FO further added that Pakistan had been voluntarily submitting information for the TIP Report to successive US governments since 2007 and had actively worked on implementing the practicable recommendations of these reports.’
It further calls upon the concerned authorities in the US to review the baseless assertions made in the TIP Report, especially with regard to the unwarranted inclusion of Pakistan in the list.’
We also expect the sharing of credible information on cases involving trafficking as well as on allegations pertaining to support to armed groups using child soldiers. Pakistan would continue to remain engaged with the US through bilateral channels for constructive dialogue on all issues of mutual interest, it added.
This is the first time the South Asian country has been put on the CSPA list. Other countries on this year’s list include Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen.