MPs urged to pass human trafficking law: Malawi has sex brothels – Osman

A Network Against Human Trafficking is urging Malawi  Members of Parliament to pass legislation on human trafficking which is expected to be tabled in Parliament this Thursday.

Osman addressing a news conference

Osman addressing a news conference

Ministry of Gender representative, Justin Hamela speaking at the press conference - photo LINA

Ministry of Gender representative, Justin Hamela speaking at the press conference – photo LINA

Addressing the news conference at Norwegian Church Aid offices in Lilongwe, Wednesday, Habiba Osman, taskforce chairperson for the Network Against Human Trafficking, said that human trafficking is a form of modern day ‘slavery’ which is destroying countless lives of people.

“Human Trafficking is without doubt a form of ‘modern day slavery’ which culminates in the destruction of countless children, women and men around the world. Like HIV and AIDS, human trafficking affects us all, whether we live in countries of origin, transit or destination,” explained Osman.

She disclosed that poverty, low education, low economic opportunities, HIV and AIDS, and natural disasters are among the reasons that raise vulnerability of trafficking.

Osman, however, emphasized that common causes among them are poverty, depression, sex discrimination and a severe lack of employment in countries of origin.

She pointed out that there are specific districts where traffickers prey on vulnerable people such as Mangochi, Zomba, Nsanje, Phalombe, Mwanza, Dedza, Ntcheu, Kasungu, Mzimba, Nkhatabay, Karonga, Chitipa and Rumphi.

There are Traditional Authorities, Habiba said, who are supporting the law against human trafficking and have called upon NGOs working in trafficking issues to lobby for a comprehensive law which will prevent, protect and prosecute traffickers.

Osman explained that there are several cases of trafficking in the country although victims rarely report them.

The existence of brothels is one growing form of trafficking in Malawi where even children are trafficked into the trade.

She said in Blantyre City, two 12-year old girls were recently rescued from brothels, and unfortunately, one of them has contracted HIV virus in the process.

“Phalombe Police have been involved in rescue operations with Mozambican authorities and more than 124 children have been rescued but some of them were identified with mutilated genitals.

“Three years ago, 29 children most of them girls from Mangochi, Balaka and Machinga districts were rescued in Karonga by the police but the trafficker is still at large.

“Last week, South African police arrested a man for selling five individuals from Malawi for R500 in South Africa,” narrated Osman

She continued saying: “Interestingly, all countries surrounding Malawi have passed human trafficking laws and sentences range from 21 years to life. This means that all the countries in the SADC (region) bordering Malawi have recognized that human trafficking is a gross human rights violation that is robbing them of their citizens and also the dignity of human beings.”

In Malawi, the current law, Protection and Justice Act 2010, only criminalizes child trafficking which is not enough, Osman told the media.

“The new law would enable Malawi to have services that would assist victims of human trafficking through re-integration and rehabilitation services and shelters provided in law. As it is (now) victims in Malawi are doubly vulnerable as without these services, they are easily re-trafficked,” emphasized Network Chairperson.

She said that Malawi is in breach of its international standards by not passing a law on trafficking.

Also taking part in the press conference was Maxwell Matewere who is President of Southern Africa Network Against Abuse and Trafficking of Children who urged Malawi to conform with neighbouring countries that are in line with international standards.

On its part, Government, through a representative from Ministry of Gender, Justin Hamela, said it is committed to see that the Bill is passed in Parliament because it will help in curbing human trafficking in the country. – LINA

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12 thoughts on “MPs urged to pass human trafficking law: Malawi has sex brothels – Osman”

  1. Human trafficking continues to discredit human dignity as it separates one’s cultural environment, and brings slavery feeling in a strange environment that one finds it difficult to act freely. And this result into tragic circumstances, thats why enactment of the law will help alot.

  2. A Chando says:

    Ignorance is also playing a role in this human trafficking mainly here in South Africa.

  3. UPHAWI ———–MABWANA AKUBA NDALAMA ZA BOMA KWAIKA ENA PA UPHAWI NDI MAVOTO OSIYANASIYANA MWA CHISAZO KUKWERA KWA MTENGO YA ZITHU NDI ZINA ZOTERO

  4. BigMan says:

    I support this law, please pass it very quickly.

  5. marko says:

    I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE SAYING I THING THE STRATEGY OF CURBING HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS THEMSELVES NOT OSMAN AND OTHER POTBELLIED UNIMA GRADUATES..WHAT AM TRYING TO PUT ACROSS HERE IS CAN OSMAN RISK HER LIFE TO RESCUE ABDUCTED CHILDREN AT THE EXPENSE OF HER CHILDREN AT HOME?I THINK DAY IN DAY OUT I CRY FOR MY FELLOW CITIZENS BECAUSE OF POLICY MAKING THAN POLICY DOING..OKUBA ALI KUNJA INU MUKUMWA MADZI AND EATING SALIVATING MEALS KU NKOPOLA…WHO WILL RESCUE THOSE ABDUCTED YOU SAY ZINTHU TO PUSH YOUR AGENDAS AHHHHHHHHHH INE ITS UNFORTUNATE I AM A MALAWIAN.

  6. kj says:

    Once the bill is passed you should also check on Karalia, he is trafficking a lot of Indians into the country. Believe me, Indians will not cease to come to Malawi, he is one of the influential Indians in the country and he is able to corrupt our politicians and immigration officials.

  7. Wokomaatani says:

    Habiba can you come with tangible evidence otherwise you are trying to keep your job with the Norwegian Church Aid. Malawi has problems that can be traced to politics. We are investing very little in public schools. Education standards have deteriorated in the past 21 years. Malawi is producing many uneducated people and this results in criminal activity and prostitution. Everybody is trying to survive and it is survival of the fittest.

  8. special advisor says:

    I loathe modern day slavery. However, I have a problem with the modern day approach to policy and legislative advocacy. Government is pushed from every side to adopt this and adopt that law. In the end these laws exist in our legal ans sicial landscape much like a badly done plastic surgery. Please allow sufficient dialogue and consultations before pushing government on new laws and policies – grass roots work, capacitating institutions and communities in the ground using what exists can form a stronger coalition and strengthen value-based and society-wude movements. This what bottom up is, but somehow, external funding for advocacy is driving us to do top bottom. It’s not usually the donor but the way we define the problem.

  9. chapaheya says:

    Nkhaniyi ndiyaikulu kwambiri pofunanso kukhala serious.chomwe ndingapemphe boma ndikuti likhazzikitse bungwe la ANTI_TRAFFICKING BODY lomwe lilembe ntchito akazitape mma boma onse ndi mma border.Anthuwa azigwira mtchito usana ndi usiku .Anthuwa akakhala paliponse adzagwira ntchito yopambana azagwiranso ena momwemuno amapanga biziness yopangitsa atsikana uhule.Akunyumba ya malamulo ,otele akagwidwa khazikitsani lamulo loti azikhala kundende zaka 20.Tatopa nazo ife zimnezo.

  10. Trying to make an issue out of nothing in a bid to stay relevant

Comments are closed.