TAFTAN: UNODC Country Office Pakistan (COPAK) handed over the newly constructed building of a Victim Reception and Facilitation Centre (VRFC) to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Taftan. The facility was handover to Mr. Abdul Hameed Bhutto, Director FIA Balochistan by Mr. Altaf Bajwa on behalf of Dr. Jeremy Milsom, Representative UNODC COPAK. Mr. Bajwa has been supervising this project as the lead engineer since the construction began in 2019.
Funded by the Ministry of Justice, Government of Norway, this facility has assisted the FIA in handling thousands of deportees – being handed over by the Iranian authorities from time to time. These include the victims of human trafficking and migrant smuggling (HTMS), who illegally cross into Iran, in their quest to migrate to Europe via Turkey. This project had evolved consequent to signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the FIA and UNODC COPAK during 2016. The VRFC has also enhanced capacity of the FIA to assist the victims of HTMS as per international best practices focusing human rights and gender sensitivities. The facility encompasses accommodation for housing of 100 deportees and their referral to service providers in Quetta for further assistance.
Another important aspect of the VRFC Taftan is that it embeds a conference room of the Counter-narcotics (CN) Border Liaison Office (BLO), under funding support by the Government of Japan. Establishment of a CN BLO in Taftan had been agreed between the Governments of Pakistan and Iran, under the framework of UNODC-facilitated Triangular Initiative (TI). Hence, its establishment has paved the way for promoting domestic and regional CN cooperation against drug trafficking – that emanates from Afghanistan and heads towards Europe, with Pakistan and Iran as the main transit countries.
UNODC COPAK is supporting the Government of Pakistan, in addressing various existing and emerging transnational organized crime (TOC) under its broad-based Country Programme in Pakistan (2016-2021). This construction project has been completed under the framework of UNODC COPAK’s Subprogramme 1 (Illicit Trafficking and Border Management), that supports the Pakistani border LEAs in improving their integrated response against illicit HTMS, drug trafficking and other TOC.
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