KATIMA MULILO – Law enforcement agents in the Zambezi region that is surrounded by Angola, Zambia and Botswana say they rescued four victims aged between 13 and 14 who were entrapped by human traffickers, two of the cases from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
This was revealed by the police at the event to mark awarenes on human trafficking, with the theme of the international day being, ‘Committed to the Cause – Working on the frontline to end human trafficking.’ The main speaker was Zambezi regional governor Lawrence Sampofu.
Sampofu said the focus on this year’s theme is on the first responders to human trafficking.
“These are the people that are at the forefront of work, such as police officers, health workers, social workers and border personnel. Human trafficking in persons is a crime against human dignity and freedom for women, men and children,” noted Sampofu.
In early 2000, the UN adopted the protocol to prevent, suppress, and punish trafficking in persons and criminalise all acts of trafficking, which includes forced labour, slavery, sexual abuse, and that governments in their response should incorporate the ‘3P’ aspects which are: Prevention, Criminal Prosecution and Victim Protection.
Trafficking in persons is an organized crime and a multi- billion- dollar criminal industry. It is a global problem and needs attention and solutions, stated the governor.
The regional police commander, Commissioner Karel Theron, said human trafficking is a global problem and one of the world’s most shameful crimes affecting the lives of millions of people around the world and robbing them of their dignity.
Theron noted traffickers often seek out children who appear vulnerable, depressed, seem emotionally isolated from family and friends, have low self-esteem or appear to have a lot of unsupervised time.
The rescued victims are from the DRC and neighbouring Zambia.
Theron urged parents to protect their children from sex trafficking by setting a high standard of love within the home, talking to children about the dangers of social media including sites on sexual trafficking, and give attention to their children.
Various groups showcased through cultural activities enactments highlighting the dangers of human trafficking.