Staff Reporter WINDHOEK - Trafficking in persons is generally a difficult type of crime to detect and investigate, given the psychological effects it has on victims, as they may not completely understand they have been made victims of human trafficking, exploited and victimised. These were the remarks of Namibian Police Force Deputy Inspector-General for Administration, Major-General Anne-Marie Nainda, who spoke on behalf of the head of the police, Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, at the commemoration of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons earlier this week. Nainda explained that human trafficking is a crime whereby victims are either deceived or forced against their will into an exploitative situation but may be unaware of the complex criminal nature of such situation. She said in some instances victims may even establish close bonds with those exploiting them. As a result, Nainda said, a multi-disciplinary approach is crucial to effectively address this phenomenon. “People need to be made aware that such an act is a crime, and all stakeholders need to have the capacity of identifying such crime and act promptly.” According to Nainda, since 2010, 38 cases were recorded by the Namibian police. “However we are mindful of the fact that this statistic may not be necessarily reflective of the reality of its prevalence on the ground,” she said. Of the 38 cases, 17 are on the court roll pending trial, while in six cases the state declined to prosecute and in one case an accused was convicted and sentenced to thirteen years imprisonment. In addition, in three cases the accused were acquitted of the crime while 12 cases are still under investigation. Nainda said Namibia recently passed the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2018 (Act No. 1 of 2018). However, the Act is not yet operational because the regulations are not yet in place. “In the meantime, the Namibian Police Force still has to rely on the provision in the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, 2004 (Act No. 29 of 2004) which clearly criminalises all forms of trafficking.” Nainda said responsible stakeholders are, therefore, expected to expedite the finalisation of the regulations to ensure a more effective approach towards combating this evil.
New Era Reporter
2018-08-02 09:34:50 6 months ago