IOM COMMEMORATES WORLD DAY AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

Jul 30, 2019

Harare – The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Zimbabwe joins the whole world in commemorating World Day against Trafficking in Persons under the theme “Human Trafficking: Call your government to action. The day was organized by the UN to raise awareness, encourage vigilance and gain support for prevention of human trafficking.

Trafficking in Persons is a major world-wide problem that affects each and every country whether as a source, transit or destination for victims.  According to the U.S State Department, it is estimated that 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.

Mr. António Vitorino, the Director General of IOM said, “the day is not a day to reflect on what we feel about migrants who are victims of trafficking. Rather it is a warning that yet another year has passed in which we can remind ourselves that no matter how much good we can do, we still haven’t done enough. It is time to end the trafficking of men, women and children across the globe.”

Mr. Mario Lito Malanca, the Chief of Mission for IOM Zimbabwe added, “on this day, let us come together around key issues of prevention, protection and prosecution to build a future where this crime cannot exist.”  

It is reported that primary victims of trafficking are women and girls, with the number of trafficked men and boys reported to be on the increase. Migration is increasingly seen as an option to escape conflict, instability, food insecurity, natural disasters and climate change, with large-scale movements of people, opportunities for criminal elements to take advantage of those on the move also increase.

Traffickers lure Zimbabwean women and men into exploitative labor situations in agriculture, construction, information technology, and hospitality largely in neighboring countries; some subsequently become victims of forced labor, and some women become victims of sex trafficking. Family members recruit children and other relatives from rural areas for work in cities where traffickers exploit them in domestic servitude or other forms of forced labor. Some children, particularly orphans, are lured with promises of education or adoption.

Additionally, cultural practices of Ngozi (giving a family member to another family to avenge the spirits of a murdered relative) and child marriages create vulnerabilities to trafficking.

IOM Zimbabwe works with partners in the Government, Civil Society and the Private Sector to promote actions towards the prevention of Trafficking in Persons (TiP) and provision of protection support to victims of trafficking in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Malanca commended the Government for its efforts to end TiP in Zimbabwe, “we acknowledge efforts by the Government of Zimbabwe to combat trafficking which has seen the country moving to Human Trafficking Tier 2 with countries whose Governments are making significant efforts to comply with standards outlined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000.”

In line with this year’s theme, IOM Zimbabwe calls the Government to act on the Implementing Regulations for the TiP Act, amend the anti-trafficking law to criminalize all forms of trafficking in line with the 2000 UN TiP Protocol and increase efforts to proactively investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes. IOM further calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to increase support for victims of trafficking including reintegration support.                                                                                

For more information please contact Varaidzo Mudombi at IOM Zimbabwe telephone +263242704285 email: vmudombi@iom.int