• August 12th, 2020

Human trafficking laws to become operational

WINDHOEK - International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, has announced that Namibia is finalising the regulations for the law on trafficking in persons to become operational.  
Namibia enacted a law on Trafficking in Persons, Act no 1 of 2018. 

She made the remarks this week during the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Although the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act is not yet in force, trafficking in persons is criminalised under the Prevention of Organized Crime Act, Act 29 of 2004. 

Section 15 of the said Act makes it a crime for anyone to participate or to aid and abet trafficking in persons, as indicated in Annex II of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which is the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.  Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga said there are currently 35 reported cases of trafficking in persons that are receiving the attention of NamPol as well as the courts.  Twenty out of the 35 are on the court roll, pending trial, while 15 cases are still under investigations.  Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, stated that the government strongly condemns the spate of trafficking in persons both women and men, boys and girls.  This year, the day is remembered under the theme “Human Trafficking: Call your Government to action”. 

She noted that the theme is domesticated to fit the Namibian current situation: “Human Trafficking: Call to Action” to highlighting the importance of both government and all stakeholders’ actions in the interest of assisting victims of trafficking and creating public awareness. According to her, the call to action is not only to governments, but everyone should take action to prevent this heinous crime. She says 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 Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, among others.

The commemoration of World Day against Trafficking in Persons is an important day for all human rights defenders to show their solidarity with the victims of human trafficking globally and to stress that there is a need to step up the fight against this phenomenon happening in societies. 

Namibia launched the commemoration of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons for the first time in July 2016, and continues to commemorate the day annually in all 14 regions of the country. Furthermore, she said government, through the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare in collaboration with stakeholders, has finalised the National Referral Mechanism and Standard Operating Procedures.  The main purpose of the Standard Operating Procedures is for the Identification, Protection and Referral of Victims of Trafficking (VoTs) or Potential VoTs, at the appropriate time and manner. 

She revealed that capacity building for key service providers on Trafficking in Persons was conducted, and to date about 1 057 people were trained. 

These include social workers, chief community liaison officers, traditional leaders, police officers, customs and excise officers, labour inspectors, teachers, learners and out of school youth. 

Furthermore, she explained 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 Force has also developed training manuals used at police training for the new recruits.

Regarding the provision of services and care for victims of human trafficking, she said services are available for all victims of crimes, including victims of trafficking in persons irrespective of their nationalities. 

Albertina Nakale
2019-08-02 07:43:54 | 1 years ago

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