Malawi Network Against Trafficking (MNAT) has beamoned high levels of trafficking in persons, saying there many vict8ms trapped in modern-day slavery.
MNAT Chairperson Mandinda Zungu was speaking in Lilongwe during a media orientation on the status of trafficking in persons in Malawi.
“We are asking government to address real causes of trafficking in persons,” said Mandinda.
To stop the traffickers, citizens, enforcement authorities and judicial officers all have a role to play. Increased enforcement of laws, cross-border cooperation and information-sharing can all be effective, but ending human trafficking also means tackling the root causes: Extreme poverty, entrenched inequality, a lack of education and opportunities, all of which create the vulnerabilities that traffickers exploit
Mandida said that MNAT is looking forward to a very strong partnership in areas such as; Advocacy, victim identification, reporting and dissemination of information and best practices in trafficking in persons management and interventions.
MNAT chair said human trafficking is an endemic social problem, a pervasive, heinous crime and one of the most pressing human rights problems in Malawi, needing urgent attention.
Mandinda commended President Peter Mutharika leadership in putting forward the Trafficking in Persons Act (2015) and preface the National Plan of Action against trafficking in Persons (2017-2022) as promised in 2014 on International Human Rights Day.
Ministry of Finance, Economic, Planning and Development has also been commended for inviting the public to suggest areas that require consideration in the 2018-2019 budget.
Currently, Malawi is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its two protocols, the Trafficking Protocol and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air and has enacted the trafficking in persons law.
In addition, trafficking in Persons Act no. 3 of 2015 section 50 commits Government to provide adequate funds to the National Coordination Committee against trafficking in persons which was established under section 4 in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security and commits Parliament under section 50 sub sections (a) to appropriate payment into the trafficking in persons fund which is established under section 51 sub sections (1).
MNAT has since expressed concern that since the enactment of the law Government only allocated MK50 million in the 2017/2018 National Budget
“It is very sad that beside the commitment which has been demonstrated by the Malawi Government, the implementation of the Trafficking in Persons Act no.3 of 2015 is been defeated through lack of funding and budget allocation,” said Mandinda.
Human trafficking is among the major problems faced by countries in the 21st century.
As such, there is need for commitment from government and other relevant stakeholders to tackle the problem, from the introduction of comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation to better co-ordination of support and care for victims.
Malawi, like other developing countries is facing a growing problem of trafficking in person that includes the abductions and killing of the people living with albinism.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :