Zim a centre for human trafficking – UN (30-11-06)

HARARE - The Zimbabwean government has rejected assertions by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that human trafficking is a growing phenomenon in the southern African country, despite the existence of enormous evidence on the ground.
IOM says Zimbabwe is increasingly becoming a h

uman trafficking centre due to its central location in the Southern African region. The UN organization also links the latest wave to the desperation among the many seeking to leave the country in a bid to escape the economic and political crisis.
Recently the police dealt with numerous cases involving young girls who were being trafficked to China through a syndicate involving local business people linked to Chinese trafficking cartels. According to a senior officer in the ZRP victims friendly unit, the latest phenomenon “is a reality despite government’s denials.”
“We have dealt with five unique cases, three of them in Harare and two in Bulawayo but the problem is that we can not do anything to prosecute because there is no law to deal with that as yet,” said the officer.
Last year, the US State department reported that Zimbabwe was a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation, and that the government did not comply with the minimum standards on the elimination of trafficking.
Dennis Chifamba, Head of Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called for a joint assessment with the IOM aimed at ascertaining the scope and nature of the problem in Zimbabwe. – Saul Chaminuka

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