Editor's Comment

Curbing human,trafficking

HUMAN trafficking is a global problem that continues to raise a lot of concern. It has almost become a norm that on a daily basis, we read reports about this vice.
Unfortunately, Zambia has not been left out of this problem. This has compelled Government to commit to fighting human trafficking to protect lives of many innocent people.
Only recently, Vice-President Inonge Wina assured Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states that Zambia is committed to fighting human trafficking and protecting the rights of children on the move.
Undoubtedly, children have continued experiencing vices that violate their rights both within and outside the country.
This violation can even be perpetrated by relatives who may travel to the rural areas to take that child along with them to the urban areas promising them an education on condition that these rural children play the role of house help.
We have read media reports of some human traffickers who come in the name of universities or colleges abroad and once the youth apply and are accepted in these ‘higher institutions of learning’, they find themselves in a foreign country where, instead of being in school, the find themselves assigned jobs that they never imagined. The jobs are mostly crime-related. The traffickers have total control of their lives and they end up having nowhere to run.
Some people leave their home countries with the hope of getting a better life in a foreign country. Once this happens, they realise that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
These are just a few examples of how human trafficking is practiced.
SADC member states recently came together to see how best human trafficking can be fought. The regional meeting attracted participants from Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
However, not all hope is lost as Government has made strides that include the ratification and domestication of the Palermo Protocol, which saw Zambia enacting the Anti- Human Trafficking Act No. 11 of 2008.
Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila urged member states to exchange ideas and experiences on how best the region can collaborate in mitigating human trafficking with particular focus on protecting children.
Public awareness should be raised in order for all stakeholders to fight the scourge.
The delegates pledged to go a step further in reviewing good practices in the region and propose alternatives to detention of migrant children, ensuring that the protection needs of children are met.
There is also need for a comprehensive and well-resourced effort with particular focus on addressing the protection needs of vulnerable migrants and refugees with special attention to children.
Governments also need to act urgently to provide resources to address the porous borders that traffickers take advantage of.
Just as much as we appreciate the efforts being made to fight the scourge, Governments need to be more alert to put an end to this vice.

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