Malawi to receive UK aid in tackling modern slavery: Commonwealth countries unite to end child labour and trafficking

Malawi will among Commonwealth countries that will receive Britain’s support through a 5.5 million pound ($7.8 million) aid package to help eradicate human trafficking and child exploitation as more  countries commit to take action to help victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

Tett: UK aid package aims to tackle child labour and trafficking

This support, from the Department for International Development and the Home Office, will identify vulnerable people most at risk of child labour and strengthen law enforcement responses in a number of Commonwealth countries to crack down on this horrific crime.

The UK will also work in Commonwealth countries such as Malawi and Sri Lanka to build the capacity of police forces and prosecutors to root out human trafficking and rapidly increase the number of convictions to punish the perpetrators.

More than half of the money will help several Commonwealth nations tackle child labour in industries including agriculture, construction and the garment sector, said Britain’s interior ministry (Home Office) and its foreign aid department (DFID).

International development secretary Penny Mordaunt called for an end to “one of the greatest injustices of our times” as she announced a package of measures to stamp out forced labour and trafficking affecting more than 40 million people across the world.

The British High Commissioner to Malawi, Ms Holly Tett, said:“Trafficking in persons is one of the most despicable crimes and a grave violation of human rights. Almost every country in the Commonwealth, including Malawi, is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. There are young boys and girls who are trafficked from rural areas to work in farms or other exploitative settings, thereby denying them their rights including to quality education.

“I’m really excited about the support that is now going to come to Malawi to build capacity within the police force and amongst prosecutors to root out human trafficking. This work will build on the success we have had to date including in developing victim support units which have offered victims assistance when they are at their most vulnerable. Our intention is ultimately to disrupt the criminal gangs operating in this area who are often connected to other international crime that seriously affects all of our prosperity and security.”

The latest funding follows a pledge in September by Britain to double its spending on global projects tackling slavery and trafficking to 150 million pounds.

Britain is considered a leader in global efforts to combat slavery, and passed the Modern Slavery Act in 2015 to crack down on traffickers, force businesses to check their supply chains for forced labour, and protect people at risk of being enslaved.

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