Govt intensifies fight against human trafficking

Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
Government has done a lot in fighting human trafficking through assisting victims and carrying out awareness campaigns, but more still needs to be done to contain the scourge. Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Melusi Matshiya made the remarks during the handover of equipment and furniture to the Trafficking In Persons (TIP) secretariat by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Harare on Friday last week.

“The Government of Zimbabwe through the Anti-Trafficking Inter-Ministerial Committee (ATIMC) has covered some ground in creating awareness on human trafficking as well as in assisting victims of human trafficking.

“However, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book and that our citizens are kept safe from human traffickers, especially women and children,” he said.

The equipment worth $12 000, consisted of furniture (tables, chairs and file cabinets), laptops, projectors, Samsung tablets and stationary among other items.

It is targeted at capacitating the ministry through the TIP Secretariat in carrying out its mandate through a donation from IOM through the 13th Edition of the European Development Fund.

Mr Matshiya said as the ATIMC was assisted in executing its mandate by the TIP Secretariat, which is housed in the Legal Services Department of the Home Affairs ministry, the equipment received would assist the Secretariat in supporting the effective functioning of the ATIMC.

“As such, this equipment donated to us today (Friday) will go a long way in assisting the ATIMC through the Secretariat in carrying out awareness campaigns, data capturing as well as carrying out the mandate as outlined in the National Plan of Action against Human Trafficking.

“I would like also to underscore that the TIP Secretariat has been carrying out preparation for the establishment of the first provincial task force team in Bulawayo set for this coming week, through the usual assistance of IOM and UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime),” he said.

Officially handing over the goods, chief of mission IOM Zimbabwe Ms Lily Sanya appreciated the collaborative working relationship between her organisation and the ministry and pledged continued support towards Zimbabwe.

“Today’s action is connected to contributing to achieving the overall goal of the project and IOM’s broader efforts to support government to tackle Human Trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a heinous criminal act involving the trade in human beings for the purpose of exploitation and transcends borders. It must be stopped at all costs. By our presence here we are pledging to improve our response to human trafficking.”

She added: “We acknowledge that no one State can address this issue on its own, and that we must all share the responsibilities. I wish to reiterate IOM’s commitment to continue working with the Government of Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Home Affairs and indeed the TIP Secretariat in order to make our collective fight against human trafficking more effective.”

Article Source: The Herald