Towards curbing sex trafficking in Malawi

Sex trafficking in Malawi is one of the great moral challenges of our time.

The two young girls rescued from from sex slavery

The vice is an age-old tendency in the country which mostly has been proliferated by poverty and illiteracy amongst women and the girls. They have no choice, really, to turn down offers from devils who masquerade as God-sent angels in the name of traffickers.

It is the allure of the money. The good life, and the promises of living under decent conditions that, really, makes them have no choice.

Poor souls!

There are more than 1500 women and girls being snuffed out of the country year-in, year-out for both local and international missions, according to media reports.

And as Margret Ali, People Serving Girls At Risk Board Chairperson, says, there is need for more sensitization if the country is to win the battle of human trafficking.

She alleges that once trafficked, some victims are forced to have sex with dogs abroad.

Ali was speaking in Blantyre on Tuesday during a briefing conducted when the country commemorated World Day against Trafficking in Persons that falls at 30th July every year.

“Trafficking is rampant in Malawi and is mostly done through promises like marriage, jobs, school support among other positive promises taking advantage of poverty and illiteracy of the victims being trafficked at the time.

“For the past few years it seems there has been little commitment from government and other stakeholders to fight human trafficking but now all stakeholders have pulled up their efforts and during the recent passed budget government has channeled MK115 million towards the trafficking basket fund,” said Ali.

According to Ali, more efforts need to be induced. She gave kudos to the Ministry of Home Affairs for consolidating data about trafficking in the country.

She noted that out of six girls who were trafficked to Iraq for the past couple years, government has managed to bring back five and one is still there and efforts are underway to hunt for her and have her back as well.

“We have established that many girls are dropping out of school due to human trafficking and some are working in brothels as sex tools and at the end of the day they are contracting HIV. The most worrying thing is that even a child as young as 10  is being trafficked,” she said.

Malawi Network Against Trafficking (MNAT) Advocacy chairperson, Mandinda Zungu, said border districts are very prone to human trafficking citing Phalombe, Mwanza, Mchinji and Karonga as human trafficking hotspots.

Zungu said human trafficking is a serious problem in Malawi that needs to be looked into because in the past awareness on the matter has been very low.

“In Phalombe alone, over 200 people have been trafficked to Mozambique and we have managed to return them back. The age ranges from nine and  above. Nazombe and Nambazo are some of the places human trafficking takes place. Fighting trafficking requires multisectoral approach,” she said.

Zungu said Phalombe is mostly used as a root to ferry people to Mozambique saying if Malawi is to win the battle of human trafficking, sensitization should be a serious weapon.

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