Human trafficking is unfolding as a global risk and a challenge to progress made towards the improvement of quality of life, especially for women and children.
This was said by the acting minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Moiseraele Goya when giving a key note address on World Day against human trafficking in Palapye. The day’s theme was “Human Trafficking is Real: Do Not Become a Victim.
Mr Goya said Botswana like all SADC countries and the rest of the world, abhor this heinous trade, which thrives and regards other human beings as tradable commodities, which often times the victims of this trade are women, children, with preference being adolescent boys and girls.
He said the most vulnerable are those people experiencing difficult social conditions; either because they have lost parents or faced poverty and unemployment.
The acting minister described human trafficking as recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons in exchange of payment.
He said often times one falls a victim of human trafficking by being promised a lucrative job or a lifetime opportunity, only to realise late that one has unwittingly walked into a horrifying trap of bondage, in the form of forced labour, prostitution or slavery.
Mr Goya urged the audience to be on high alert at individual, family and country level to prevent these kind of crimes.
The acting minister said in 2014, the government took a deliberate step to enhance the national human security environment through the adoption of several security related acts, such as Anti-Human trafficking Act, the Counter -Terrorism Act ant the proceeds and instruments of serious crime.
He said they were in the process of amending the Cyber Crime Act and the Arms and Ammunition Act, as they believe all these acts were critical for the enhancement of human security in Botswana.
He emphasised that there was need to put in place effective risk analysis mechanisms relevant for the elimination of human trafficking.
The ministry of Defense, Justice and Security, he added, has already set out structure for achieving multi-sectorial intervention measures through the establishment of Anti-Human Trafficking Committee compromising security agencies and members from key ministries as well as other stakeholders.
He noted that the committee’s key role would be to determine policy, operational strategies and guidelines for the prevention and interventions against human trafficking incidents in Botswana.
The committee is also expected to provide leadership in the operationalisation of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act No. 32 of 2014 to ensure that Botswana does not become a source, transit route or destination for trafficking.
He appealed to Batswana and the rest of SADC to commit themselves to the adoption of all the relevant global instruments relating to anti-human trafficking and other global crimes.
The acting minister also applauded SADC community, the European Union, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other collaborating partners for supporting Botswana government initiatives of raising public awareness on human trafficking.
He said through team work human trafficking in all its forms could be defeated, adding that the ministry of Education and Skills Development was going to become one of the greatest partners in fighting it.
Source : BOPA