The US State Department’s claims of human trafficking being prolific in Afghanistan is “propaganda” and “baseless”, the Taliban’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said in response to Washington’s latest report.
Mujahid stated that the Taliban “does not allow human trafficking, and anyone involved in this crime will be punished.”
The US Department of State published its annual report on the situation of human trafficking around the world on Thursday, stating that Afghanistan under Taliban rule does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.
“During the reporting period, there was a pattern of employing or recruiting child soldiers and a pattern of sexual slavery by the Taliban (bacha bazi – a practice in which men exploit boys for social and sexual entertainment),” the report said.
According to the report, the Taliban did not make efforts to resolve the issue of labor trafficking and sex trafficking, nor did they identify or protect any trafficking victims or make any efforts to prevent trafficking.
“The Taliban continued to undermine the rights of women and members of minority groups, and other vulnerable populations, and hindered the work of NGOs, further exacerbating vulnerabilities to trafficking and obstructing the protection of victims,” the report added.
The Taliban’s spokesman, however, rejected the report, saying that “human trafficking takes place beyond the borders of Afghanistan, and preventing it is the responsibility of other countries.”