Malawi committed to fighting trafficking in persons – Minister

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Cecilia Chazama has pledged its commitment to fighting against trafficking in persons and has since called for strong partnership in curbing the vice in the country.

Chazama speaking at the official opening of the national inter-disciplinary symposium on trafficking in persons on Friday at BICC.-Photo by Stanley Makut, Mana

Chazama said this Friday in Lilongwe at the Bingu International Convention Centre when she opened National Inter-Disciplinary Symposium on Trafficking in persons.

She explained her ministry has increased issues of capacity building of investigators, prosecutors, enforcement and protection officers and sharing information and best practices in trafficking in persons management and interventions.

Chazama pointed out that government passed its first legislation, the Trafficking in Persons Act, in 2015 to combat the incidences of the scourge in the country.

“We can succeed in a achieving our unified vision and strategic objectives if we work in partnership, locally, regionally and internationally,” the Minister observed.

Chazama disclosed that globally, UNICEF has estimated that 2.5 million people are trapped in modern day slavery. She singled out that men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers both in their own country and abroad.

“Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. Malawi is not immune to the crime,” the minister noted.

Chazama added most Malawian trafficking victims are exploited within the country by generally being transported from the southern part to central and northern regions for forced labour in agriculture, goat and cattle herding and brick making.

The Minister said:  “Many cases of child labour, external  to the family, involve fraudulent recruitment and physical or sexual abuse, indicative of forced labour.”

She said trafficking of Malawians is not limited to within the borders as some people have been victims in Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Middle East countries and Europe.

Chazama pointed out that the trafficked persons are subjected to sexual and labour exploitation, extraction of body parts and forced to be drug mules.

She thanked Malawi Network Against Trafficking in Persons and the Conference of Western Attorney Generals (CWAG) for working in close collaboration with her Ministry to organize the National Symposium.

Assistant General for Pfizer and board member of CWAG, Markus Green said his organisation is working in partnership with eight African countries to combat trafficking in persons.

He said they started the partnership two years ago and are working with countries like Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal.

The National Symposium has drawn the participation of senior government officials, Non Governmental Organisations,  Civil Society, Faith Based Organisations, Law students from Chancellor College and the Media.

 

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