ONGWEDIVA - Police investigators in Ohangwena region have swung into action, investigating a case of suspected human trafficking involving a minor child who was allegedly smuggled into Namibia from Angola to engage in “slave like” child labour, which is a commonplace in northern Namibia.
Although the child alleges, she was brought into the country by the woman she has been residing with at Oshakati and despite the seriousness of the case, there has been no arrest made yet.
The crime regional coordinator in Ohangwena, Deputy Commissioner Zacharia Amakali said this is the second alleged case of human trafficking reported this year. The 13-year-old girl has been in the country since July this year, following her mother’s passing.
The girl says she is originally from Lobito in Angola.
According to the police crime report, the child who allegedly spoke through an interpreter said she was never remunerated for the service she rendered of close to three months. “After she got tired of suffering, she then escaped from that house,” the police report reads. The child was allegedly found by a public member walking along the road between Oshakati and Omungwelume, attempting to find her way back into Angola. The Samaritan who found her allegedly took her to the Omungwelume police station and was later taken to immigration officials at Oshikango.
She is currently under the care of the police.
New Era two months ago reported that there is 35 cases of human trafficking that are receiving the attention of Nampol as well as the courts.
A total of 20 cases out of the 35 are on the court roll, pending trial, while 15 cases are still under investigation. Despite the cases before court, many Angolans including minor children continue to flock to Namibia in search for jobs to be employed as domestic workers in houses and farms particularly in the northern regions. Apart from those employed, others are self-employed and are roaming the streets selling eggs, sweets and sausages in order to provide for their families back home. The Oshana region in recent weeks during a joint operation deported about 40 Angolans who were illegally employed in the country. Chief Inspector Tomas Aiyambo of the public relations office in Oshana said amongst those who were deported are those whose working permits expired, but never returned to Angola or renewed them.