Malawi downgraded to tier 2 on combating Trafficking in Persons

Ministry of Homeland Security has revealed that Malawi was downgraded from Tier 1 to Tier 2 of watch list for failing to meet some of the minimum standards on combating Trafficking in Persons (TIPs).

Mulonya: There should be funding at district level

Principal Secretary for Homeland Security, Harry Kanjewe made the revelation during the officially opening of a two day Annual Review Conference on Trafficking in Persons in Malawi on Monday at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe

He warned that if Malawi does not address the issues highlighted in the report, the country risk of being moved to Tier 3 in the 2021 TIP Report.

“This has a lot of consequences such as being subjected to restrictions on non-humanitarian, nontrade-related assistance. It was imperative that as a country, we should take deliberate efforts to address the recommendations in the report in order to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking on persons,” the Principal Secretary explained.

Kanjewe said although the country has registered some success stories in the fight against Trafficking in Persons, cases of people being trafficked within, outside the country and of course into Malawi continue to rise.

He added that this means the Government and various stakeholders such as Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), and Traditional Leaders need to strengthen their efforts in the fight against this evil act- both at policy and technical levels.

The Principal Secretary urged that participants to consider the issues in the report and come up with solutions.

Kanjewe said sometimes it becomes discouraging when we fail to register success stories in the TIP fight because of lack of commitment and coordination from stakeholders.

He said there was need to improve if the country was to win the battle and should always treat each other as partners, not competitors.

Kanjewe said Government would like to commend the various efforts being done by other non-state players to fight TIP.

“We need to improve coordination of our activities and of course reporting on TIP issues. We cannot talk about the fight against TIP without mentioning Youth Network and Counseling Organization (YONECO), Salvation Army, Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM), Love Justice International for some of the achievements made so far,” he added.

Kanjewe commended United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for their continued technical and financial support in this drive

UNODC National Project Officer, Maxwell Matewere disclosed that government has gazetted social workers as protection officers to enhance the fights against TIP in the country.

He said the gazetting of the issue has completed the process of empowering social workers to help in the fight in the against the vice.

Malawi Network Against Trafficking (MNAT) Chairperson, Rodrick Mulonya expressed concern that District Coordinating Committees were not being supported finically in the drive to curb TIP.

He urged the Ministry to make sure that Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) dealing with issues of TIP are adequately funded at district level.

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