FO ‘categorically’ rejects Pakistan’s ‘baseless’ inclusion into US’ Child Soldiers Prevention Act List – Press Release

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FO categorically rejects Pakistans baseless inclusion into US Child Soldiers Prevention Act List
  • Pakistan says Washington’s move to include Islamabad in list reflects a “factual error and lack of understanding”.
  • Calls upon US authorities to review “baseless assertions” made in the TIP Report.
  • FO says Pakistan expects US to share “credible information” on cases involving trafficking of people.

Pakistan on Friday “categorically” rejected the “unsubstantiated and baseless” inclusion of the country in the “Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA) List” — published under a domestic US legislation — in the US State Department’s Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2021.

“Pakistan 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 are well recognised,” said the Foreign Office in a statement.

Islamabad said that Pakistan’s inclusion in the list reflects a “factual error and lack of understanding”. It also said that no state institution was consulted by the US before the publication of the report and that neither were any details provided which led to the country’s inclusion in the list.

“Overall, on the issue of Trafficking in Persons, Pakistan is committed to fighting this scourge both at the national and international levels. We have 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,” said the FO.

It also said that Pakistan has been sharing information for the TIP Report with the US government “voluntarily” since 2007. It also said that despite having no obligations, Pakistan has “actively worked on implementing the practicable recommendations”.

“Pakistan calls upon the authorities concerned in the United States to review the baseless assertions made in the TIP Report, especially with regard to the unwarranted inclusion of Pakistan in the ‘CSPA List’,” said the FO.

The FO said that Pakistan also expects the US to share “credible information” on cases involving trafficking of people as well as on “allegations pertaining to support to armed groups using child soldiers”.

“Pakistan’s views and perspective on the subject have been conveyed to the US side. Pakistan would continue to remain engaged with the US government through bilateral channels for constructive dialogue on all issues of mutual interest,” concluded the statement.

The Child Soldiers Prevention Act is a section included in the Trafficking in Persons report of a list of foreign governments identified during the previous year as having governmental armed forces, police, or other security forces, or government-supported armed groups that recruit or use child soldiers, as defined in the CSPA. 

Apart from Pakistan, the countries included in the report are Afghanistan, Burma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela, and Yemen.

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