Society and Norms: Crime - Trafficking in Persons

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Prostitution is illegal in Pakistan but still thrives in "secret" brothels and on the streets. Laws prohibiting prostitution are enforced in some areas, but in many places they are not. Prostitution, particularly brothels in large cities, is strongly associated with human trafficking. Poor and orphaned children are the most susceptible to being trafficked, with girls as young as 9 years old being sold into sex slavery. Girls are often tricked into coming to Pakistan by companies that promise them well paying jobs in offices or restaurants, but sell them to brothels as soon as they arrive.

Pakistan is also a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Thousands of women and children are trafficked internally to settle debts and disputes, or forced into sexual exploitative situations or domestic servitude.  Debt-bondage can occur when an employer loans money to a family and a family member goes to work for the employer until the debt is paid off. The employee does not earn down the debt, but remains in service until the money borrower pays off the entire debt.

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