SIX girls and a boy have been retrieved from Namibia where they were allegedly trafficked to work as prostitutes and domestic workers.
Ministry of Gender permanent secretary Dr Auxilia Ponga said human trafficking was a crime that violated
human rights and posed a threat of diseases and sometimes led to the death of victims, especially young ones.
“Young women and girls are vulnerable to the scourge as they are coerced to engage in sexual exploitation and domestic work…families should avoid falling prey to promises of decent jobs and scholarships from untrusted sources whose intentions are to exploit their children through forced labour and prostitution…. The ministry has praised Senanga district administration for retrieving six teenage girls and a boy who were allegedly trafficked to Namibia to work as prostitutes and domestic worker,” Dr Ponga said according to a statement issued by the ministry’s media liaison officer Mwape Mwenya.
She said although the country was facing high levels of unemployment, families should be assertive and investigate suspicions offers of jobs within and outside the country.
Dr Ponga urged families to report such cases to relevant authorities before accepting any such offers.
She added that there was need for concerted efforts from government line ministries, civil society and faith-based organisations, the Immigration Department and the media to raise awareness on human trafficking so as to cage the scourge.
“Human trafficking affects all age groups and gender, especially in impoverished communities in rural and peri-urban areas. It is sad to note that Zambia is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking and it is for this reason that the anti-trafficking inter-ministerial committee should be reinforced to combat the vice,” said Dr Ponga who added that “strengthening the anti-trafficking inter-ministerial committee will enhance government’s efforts to providing shelter for survivors of human trafficking and provide training for investigators, the police, the judiciary and other stakeholders”.