HERAT CITY (SW) – The heinous crime of human trafficking, especially child trafficking, continues to thrive through the western borders of Afghanistan.
A number of families whose children have been victims of human trafficking say their children have been tricked and have taken to dangerous paths, and they are yet to know their fate.
One such elderly women continues to mourn for her teenaged son who is a victim of human trafficking. She has come to Herat in search of traces of her son.
The woman is named Basu and is a resident of Shin Dand district of Herat. She says her son, Habibullah, was taken to Iran and then Turkey from Shin Dand four years ago, but has no news of him since. This has left her heart-broken in despair.
Now, this old woman has sought to search for her son with the help of media. "In these four years, we suffered so much. I raised my children by begging to others for bread, now I do not know where he is, may God have mercy on him."
She sid she had arranged an engagement ceremony for her son against the promised payment of AFN 700,000, and her son went to Iran to earn that the amount of money.
The dejected mother said her son, after a year of working in Iran, was tricked into trafficking in human beings and was taken to Turkey. She added her son went to Turkey three years ago, but she has not yet heard of him since.
Mirwais Amini, head of the children's section of the Independent Human Rights Commission in Herat, said human trafficking, especially child trafficking, is being carried out at the borders of the country's western provinces. He said that since the beginning of this year, 1,600 children, including 250 girls, have crossed the border to Iran.
According to him, most of these children have experienced miseries with 43% of them facing human rights abuses.
Javed Nadim, head of the Herat Migration and Returnees Department, expressed concern over human trafficking, especially child trafficking, and said up to 15 children cross the border daily, most of whom are tricked into smuggling, to go to Iran.
Herat local officials also speak of crackdowns on human traffickers in the province. They said a number of these traffickers have been detained by security forces in the province over the past year.