The Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) said women, especially commercial sex workers and children are more prone to trafficking in persons and has since the media fraternity and other key stakeholders in the country to take coordinated and consistent measures in fighting against human trafficking.
NCA Head of Programmes Esther Masika spoke during an orientation meeting for the media on human trafficking and related activities in Blantyre.
The call also comes at a time when countries worldwide will be commemorating World Day against Trafficking this Wednesday, July 30 to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.
Men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers both in their countries and abroad.
“As the journey to prevention of Human trafficking becomes more challenging we as Key stakeholders need to think of more innovative strategies through identification of gaps, utilizing our experiences, networking and collaboration and inclusion and participation of key stakeholders.
“The media is one of the key stakeholders in terms of providing information to the communities. The Media should be spreading out the information and not merely any kind of information but information that is relevant, accurate appropriate and user friendly to ably protect the Malawi Nation against human trafficking,” said Masika.
NCA rolled out Prevention of trafficking project in 2006 with of raising awareness and reducing trafficking in women, men, girls and boys in some targeted areas across the country.
Trafficking in persons is reportedly high in Karonga, Nkhatabay, Lilongwe, Dedza, Blantyre, Mchinji, Nkhotakota and Mulanje while women, mainly commercial sex workers and children are more prone to the vice.
The Prevention of trafficking project started on pilot phase whose overall objective was to prevent trafficking in women and children.
The project’s two-year first phase was rolled in 2007 mainly to prevent women and children through an active gender and rights based approach, according to Masika.
“The first phase mostly concentrated in awareness raising, capacity building, Data collection, Networking and coordination and support for identified victims in areas where trafficking has been prevalent.
“NCA commissioned on human trafficking to establish the magnitude of sexual exploitation in trafficking and understand the magnitude and nature of trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation in Malawi and abroad and the findings revealed that a total of 500 people were trafficked annually in Malawi,” she explained.
She further said the second phase focused on stretching beyond the religious domain by targeting other vital institutions that are also fighting against human trafficking in the country.
This also included building institutional capacity of those institutions entrusted with duty of protecting the victims of trafficking.
“Third phase—2014 to 2016—has now been merged under the gender based violence and the human trafficking component and this is being done through prevention and protection of victims/survivors and through advocacy towards authorities to develop legal frameworks and institutional coordination to act upon human trafficking,” said Makina, adding that they will also target duty bearers like the judiciary, media, immigration officers, and victim support units, among others.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :