The Anti-Trafficking Movement Is Pivoting to Afghanistan - 2021-10-12

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F0.png The Anti-Trafficking Movement Is Pivoting to Afghanistan October 12, 2021, Tim Marchman, Vice News

Dina Francesca Haynes was having a difficult time. A professor at New England Law Boston and an expert in international human rights law and human trafficking, she was trying to get her vulnerable clients out of Afghanistan in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal , a chaotic experience unlike anything in her two decades of working in post-conflict zones. One of her clients needed to get out immediately, she said, because she had been violently sexually assaulted. Haynes had been told that a private operator on the ground could bring her client to a safe house and, ultimately, to the Kabul airport.

Haynes' story reflects a broader set of issues that developed in Afghanistan amidst and following the shambolic departure of U.S. troops, with the development of a wide ecosystem of private citizens and groups claiming to be facilitating the evacuation of both American and Afghan citizens. This is an exceedingly complex process at best, usually involving high-level negotiations with foreign governments and collaboration with a wide variety of people, some of whom have no motive but profit. And even seemingly well-intentioned actors, both in the U.S. and on the ground, are adding to the confusion and chaos inherent in the situation by making promises they can't fulfill and spreading unfounded rumors.

"I was like, discovered? Anybody who's doing anything in Afghanistan knows exactly where the checkpoints are right now. We all knew that there were 22 checkpoints," said Haynes, whose client made it to safety in the end. "It was just mind-blowing. He was so proud to be able to say, 'Oh, I just discovered there are 22 checkpoints,' days after the rest of us already knew that. And that's when I thought, 'Oh my God, I'm talking to somebody who is playing.' He's playing Rambo. This is a game to him. I've imperiled my client's life on the false promise of somebody who's playing."

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Tim | last = Marchman | title = The Anti-Trafficking Movement Is Pivoting to Afghanistan | url = | work = Vice News | date = October 12, 2021 | accessdate = July 21, 2023 }}