Human trafficking manual launched
By CATHERINE NYIRENDA -
GOVERNMENT has launched a manual for law enforcement officers and prosecutors to help accelerate the prosecution of perpetrators of human trafficking, a trend which is rampant in Zambia.
Justice Deputy Minister Ngosa Simbyakula said despite the high levels of internal human trafficking there has been less prosecution of such cases, but that with the introduction of the manual more cases would be prosecuted successfully.
Dr Simbyakula said during the launch of the manual in Lusaka that Zambia would now record an increase in the successful prosecution of internal human trafficking cases.
Internal human trafficking cases includes the use of children for domestic and industrial activities and the use of women in commercial sex activities.
Dr Simbyakula said Zambia was affected by human trafficking and had been designated as a country of origin, transit and destination of trafficking especially in women and children.
“I am happy to state that Zambia has since domesticated the United Nations Convention against transnational organised crime the protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons Act No. 11 of 2008,” he said.
The Zambia anti-human trafficking Act provided stringent penalties, which could only be achieved through successful prosecution of trafficking cases.
Dr Simbyakula thanked the US government and the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM) for embarking on a five-day training of trainers on the use of the manual.
“The training would equip law enforcement officers and prosecutors with a clear understanding of what human trafficking was and would also sensitise officers on victim identification and assistance as well as witness protection,” he said .
The training of trainers which commenced yesterday includes officers from Zambia Police, the department of Immigration, National Prosecution Authority, the Drug Enforcement Commission and the Ministry of Justice.
US Embassy Charge d’ Affairs David Young said during the launch that the problem of human trafficking in Zambia had persisted and advised Government to deal with it effectively.
Mr Young said the problem was rampant in Agriculture and mining sectors which needed to be scrutinised.
IOM representative, Andrew Chongo said the development of training materials and capacity building of prosecutors with the right skills was critical to achieving successful prosecution of human trafficking cases.
Mr Chongo said the training of trainers would be rolled out to other law enforcement officers and prosecutors for them to gain the skills to understand what human trafficking is, correctly identify and protect victims, investigate and ultimately prosecute the perpetrators of the vice.