Minister warns law enforcers against aiding human trafficking
Mzuzu, July 31, Malawi: Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda, has warned law enforcers against aiding human trafficking, saying anyone found will face the law.
Banda was speaking Friday in Mzuzu during the commemoration of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons which was held under the theme ‘Victims Voices Lead the Way’.
“So far, 12 police officers have been suspended for aiding human trafficking and are waiting for court ruling.
“We have taken a serious approach towards this and no one will be protected regardless of the rank and years they have served if found aiding human trafficking,” said Banda.
He said government is committed in dealing with trafficking in persons as it enacted the Trafficking in Persons Act in 2015.
The minister further said government has also set a fund towards helping victims of human trafficking so that they get help and counseling before going back to their homes.
Banda, however, commended some law enforcers that have rescued victims of the inhumane practice.
“Just this Thursday, police in Chitipa rescued 77 victims who were being trafficked to other countries. Let me also report that in 2020, 688 victims of human trafficking were rescued in the country,” he said.
Chimwendo Banda, therefore, called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including the police, immigration, chiefs and members of the public to win the fight against the malpractice.
“Human traffickers mostly use unchartered routes and sometimes communities harbor them, hence the call for concerted efforts,” said Banda.
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, asked Malawians to verify with government wherever they find working opportunities and scholarships abroad as most of them are tricks for human trafficking.
She said most people have been trafficked without their knowledge by being tricked that they would be provided with employment abroad.
Chairperson for Malawi Network Against Trafficking in Persons, Dr Rodrick Mulonya, said most Malawians are not aware of human trafficking issues such that they fall prey to the traffickers.
United Nations (UN) has categorized human trafficking as a modern slavery where people are tricked with good opportunities but end up being trafficked and exploited.
Mulonya said Malawi is a transit country for trafficked people who are taken to countries such as South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique and parts of Europe.
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons was set aside by the UN General Assembly in 2013 with the aim of raising awareness on human trafficking and the need for the promotion and protection of rights of victims of human trafficking.