Counter Trafficking Programme
The Global Trafficking in Persons Report 2014 notes Zimbabwe as a source, transit and destination country for trafficking in persons. Geographically the country is located within the heart of SADC making it an easily accessible transit route for Trafficking in Persons (TiP). According to the same report young men, women and children are lured into South Africa among other destinations with false promises of employment, education or marriage. Incidences of internal trafficking have also been noted in Zimbabwe targeting young women and children for the purpose of commercial sex work as well as domestic work. The changes in trends and dynamics of TiP have not been researched recently in Zimbabwe. However the recent enactment of the TiP Act provides opportunities for various stakeholders to consider in-depth research into various aspect of TiP in Zimbabwe.
IOM's counter trafficking strategy in Zimbabwe is hinged on three pillars (prevention, protection and prosecution), contributing to the reduction and prevention of internal and cross border trafficking in persons, while offering direct assistance to victims in line with international minimum standards of care and raising awareness among the general public. The three pillars are:
Prevention involves the in-depth capacity building and sensitization workshops for government (Legislature, Executive and Judiciary) and civil society players (NGOs, Religious Groups, Media and Community Based Organizations). Areas covered include identifying and assisting survivors of TiP, international standards of care, provisions of the TiP Act and comparative assessment of national anti trafficking legislation to other countries especially within the SADC region.
Raising awareness through mass media, social media and small media to ensure that information on human trafficking reaches a wider audience. Mass media targeted, print media such as newspapers and electronic media such as radio, television and mobile telephone platform. Small media includes community theatre, posters and inter personal communicative methods to target particular communities with tailored messages. Awareness activities have also been undertaken in schools targeting primary and secondary school teachers and pupils.
Protection efforts are centered around, theestablishment of the Civil Society Organizations Forum and Referral Network of civil service providers for the purpose of providing VoTs with sufficient psycho-social support and reintegration assistance. Provision of direct assistance to survivors of TiP in the form of temporary shelter, medical treatment, counselling, legal aid support and reintegration support.
Refurbishment and upgrading of shelters for survivors of TiP including capacity building of personnel working with survivors of TiP. Capacity building trainings targeting school teachers, social service providers and law enforcement officials for victim identification and protection.
IOM works with the host government to promote the creation of legally enabling environment in Zimbabwe. Lobbying and advocating for the ratification and domestication of the relevant international instruments is one of IOM's key activities in the area of promoting prosecution. The organization also supports different stakeholder consultations, meetings and seminars on the new TiP Act Chapter 9:25 of 2014.
Victim identity and confidentiality is protected with utmost importance. However, where there is willingness and voluntary consent from a victim, IOM works with the authorities in collecting their statements towards ensuring that legal recourse is sort, in line with the international minimum requirements.
Highlights of current Counter Trafficking activities
In order to sensitize and raise awareness among various sections of the community IOM develops and disseminates several Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials and electronic materials (including electronic bill boards, posters, flyers, brochures sponsored radio and TV programmes as well as advertisements in both electronic and print media). In addition to the above IOM is working with Ministry of Home Affairs to raise awareness among the community through school national platforms such as the annual Harare Agricultural Show as well as the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
Projects addressing Counter Trafficking