Sunday, September 20, 2020

Gov’t finally acts to stop human trafficking

The Botswana Government has yielded to pressure to come up with deliberate measures aimed at tackling human trafficking.

In response to the over 1000 Batswana trafficked last year, Government is coming up with legislation that will effectively crimnalise human trafficking. To this day a sizeable number of Batswana remain stranded in Canada where they have been trafficked.
The minister of Defense, Justice and Security has confirmed that legislation is under way to criminalize human trafficking.

Speaking to The Telegraph Minister Seretse said “my ministry has taken a firm decision to criminalize human trafficking which has become a problem”.
He outlined that currently there is no legislation that addresses or deals specifically with human trafficking.

He said at the moment the Attorney General Chambers is busy drafting the legislation.
The minister hopes to the Bill before parliament sometime next year.

Program officer at Child Line Botswana, an NGO that deals with the welfare of Children , Olebile Machete said “we have recently established a steering committee that will focus on human trafficking”.

He said the main purpose of the committee is to fight human trafficking particularly in children.
He said the committee will educate the law makers, implementers as well as the public about human trafficking and how it happens.

He said child line is advocating that Parliament must pass a law that specifically deals with human trafficking and make it punishable.

“Once a law has being passed it will be very easy to death thoroughly with human trafficking,” said Machete.

He said the step government should take is to criminalize human trafficking.
He said they have partnered with other stakeholders like department of social services, police, and immigration and churches to mention a few.

To illustrate that his organization means business, Machete said Child line recently gave shelter to Zimbabwean young girls who were rescued from attempts to traffic them to Europe.
The girls who were traveling on Botswana passports have since been repatriated to their native Zimbabwe.

Machete said they are also working on rescuing a Motswana believed to have been trafficked into South Africa where she is suspected to have become a sex slave in the brothels sprawling that country.

“We are planning to follow up the issue and establish her whereabouts in South Africa,” he said.
Sister Prisca Gaibuse of the Association of Women religious said “the church has embarked on a campaign to educate and sensitize the public about human trafficking that has now become matter of urgency in Botswana”.

The Sister said the Church is fully aware of human trafficking and is “very much concerned.”

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.