Mitigating human trafficking

13 August 2019 | Local News

World Day against Trafficking in Persons was commemorated at the Mondesa Multipurpose Centre in Swakopmund last week.

The day is commemorated worldwide by human rights defenders to show solidarity with the victims of human trafficking and to emphasise the importance of stamping out the practice.

Speaking at the event, the special advisor to the governor of the Erongo Region, Adelheid Kandjala, said it is everybody's task to combat human trafficking.

“The call to action is not only to governments, but everyone should take action to prevent this heinous crime,” said Kandjala, speaking on behalf of governor Cleophas Mutjavikua.

She said the government strongly condemns trafficking in persons.

“That is why Namibia is party to several human rights instruments such as the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1992), UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000), International Labour Organisation Convention on All Worst Forms of Child Labour (2000), AU Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003) and SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (2008),” she said.

Namibia last year passed a law on trafficking in persons and lawmakers are now finalising its regulations.

Although the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act is not yet in force, trafficking in persons is illegal in Namibia under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act of 2004.

Kandjala said the government had taken steps through its various ministries to tackle human trafficking.

“The ministry of gender equality and child welfare and stakeholders, in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration, held a technical training [course] on the concept of human trafficking, coordination and cooperation and on key provisions of trafficking in person legislations in 2017.

“Furthermore, the ministry of home affairs and immigration has introduced comprehensive training for all newly appointed immigration officers. Such training puts emphasis on how to identify, handle and follow the line of command to report suspected cases of human trafficking.”

“The Namibian police has also developed training manuals used during training for new recruits,” Kandjala said.

The first case of human trafficking in Namibia was reported in 2010. In the Erongo Region, seven human trafficking cases have been reported to the police between 2010 and 2018. Of these, three cases have been finalised and four are still pending.

ADOLF KAURE

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