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Zimbabwe to launch plan of action on human trafficking

Story by Justin Mahlahla

The Government of Zimbabwe will this Wednesday launch the National Plan of Action on Trafficking in Persons (2023 – 2028) in Harare.

Vice President, General (Rtd) Dr Constantino Chiwenga, is expected to grace the launch as the Guest of Honour.

The launch of the National Plan of Action on Trafficking in Persons (2023 – 2028) comes as hundreds of Zimbabwean nationals have fallen victim to domestic servitude, labour and sexual exploitation after being lured to countries such as Oman through fake job promises.

The Government has been collaborating with other partners in bringing back its nationals who have been trafficked to other countries, and more than 100 victims were rescued from Oman late last year.

Trafficking in Persons is one of the crimes that the over-arching United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime intends to curb through one of its supplementing protocols. This Convention has three supplementing Protocols dealing with specific transnational organised crimes.

These are: the Protocol to Prevent Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; the Protocol against Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition.

Men, women and children are subjected to various forms of exploitation which include sexual abuse, domestic servitude and forced labour, among many other forms. To combat trafficking in persons, Zimbabwe ratified the Convention on the 12th of December 2007.

Zimbabwe acceded to the Trafficking in Persons Protocol on the 13th of December 2013.

The Government of Zimbabwe then developed a Trafficking in Persons Bill which was enacted in terms of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act in January 2014. These Regulations were only for six months (January – June 2014).

Thereafter, the Trafficking in Persons Bill, was subsequently enacted and signed into law as the Trafficking in Persons Act [Chapter 9:25] – on 13 June 2014.

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