Pakistan's top judge says migrant boat sinking off Pylos is a "human rights issue"

pakistan

Pakistan's top judge on Wednesday described the sinking of a migrant boat off Greece in June, where hundreds of Pakistanis reportedly died, as a "human rights issue."

Hearing a case on the trafficking of children on Wednesday, Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial, said human traffickers are getting millions of rupees while innocent and poor people are tricked into going abroad on the pretext of better jobs, Anadolu Agency reported.

"Citizens are duped by human traffickers and pay millions of rupees," the local daily, Dawn, quoted the top judge as saying.

He added that even women and children become victims of human smuggling.

The Chief Justice also directed the provincial authorities to submit a report regarding actions to curb human smuggling and data about out-of-school children nationwide within a month.

Pakistan has, however, decided to charge the suspected human traffickers involved in last month's shipwreck off the coast of Greece under the country's anti-money laundering law.

The 30-metre-long fishing boat capsized and sank early on 14 June about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Greece's southern coastal town of Pylos, which carried around 700 people on board, including Pakistanis, Syrians and Libyans.

On 23 June, Pakistan's Interior Minister, Rana Sanaullah, told the National Assembly that at least 281 families have contacted the government, while approximately 350 Pakistanis were travelling on the boat.

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