The government rejects and condemns in the strongest terms the US report which contains inaccuracies, and paints a negative and unfair picture on the issue of human trafficking in Botswana.
This was in response to the Botswana Gazette front page article headlined Botswana – a haven for forced labour and sex trafficking – US report of July 29- August 4 2015, which alleges that Botswana is a haven for forced labour and sex trafficking.
A press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, says the Botswana Gazette newspaper purports its source to be a US report on human trafficking.
The release says the government refutes the newspaper report as well as the US Department of State 2015 Trafficking in Persons report in so far as it relates to Botswana.
“The details contained in the report are a total fabrication and misrepresentation of the good performance Botswana has achieved in the field of anti-human trafficking,” states the release.
It further says it should be noted that the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security was sent a questionnaire in March 2015 through the US Embassy in Gaborone which sought information on the progress Botswana was making in dealing with human trafficking.
The release says the information was sought in the following areas: anti-human trafficking legislation, structures for details with human trafficking, training of stakeholders, programmes for public education, prevention, protection, investigation and prosecution of human trafficking perpetrators.
In all these areas, states the release, the government through several stakeholders, namely the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security, Botswana Police Service, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Directorate of Public Prosecution responded relating to their different mandates and indicating progress made in their respective interventions against human trafficking.
“The government of Botswana submits that all sectors in Botswana have recorded significant and commendable progress in dealing with human trafficking including training of stakeholders and these include among others, police officers, prosecutors and immigration officers,” says the release.
It says the government rejects and condemns the report in its entirety, and “challenges its authors to provide documentary evidence of their allegations or else expunge the sections of the report in so far as it relates to Botswana.
Like all sovereign states, Botswana is entitled to protect its good name and reputation which it has built over the years and will not tolerate any attempt to undermine its sovereignty,” concludes the release.
Source : BOPA