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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Churches join human trafficking fight

Churches join human trafficking fight

Story by Tapiwa Machemedze

CHURCHES have pledged to complement the national fight against human trafficking which has been identified as a key prevention and awareness-raising pillar.

In 2016, human trafficking made headlines in Zimbabwe when 32 women were rescued by the government from Kuwait after being lured to work as professionals but later forced to be housemaids and engage in other dehumanising activities.

Tabeth Masiiwa is among these women and recalls how she got entangled in the web of human trafficking after receiving information at church.  

 “For me to be trafficked I got the information at church, that people were being employed and it was spreading. It was being said people are going to Kuwait, I was interested and joined. In my case my Pastor blessed me but he did it innocently and did not know I would be trafficked,” said Musiiwa.

The Centre for Combating Human Trafficking (CCHT) headquartered at Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) is now engaging churches to counter similar acts of human trafficking.

“The church is a vital cog in fighting human trafficking, it’s in a very good space to combat human trafficking through various forums, they can also raise awareness that human trafficking is indeed real,” said Family of God Church Pastor,  Ps Ephias Mleya.

 41 pastors from mainline, Pentecostal and white garment churches who received training from the CCHT agreed to confront head-on the growing menace of human trafficking.

Church of Christ  Pastor,  Ps Misheck Svodziwa said, “We learnt a lot about human trafficking and we realising some of these things are happening next door. Due to the search for greener pastures, our children are getting trafficked. Therefore, when we go back to our churches, we need to raise awareness,”

“We are pleased with what BUSE has done for us and we learnt about human trafficking, It shows people no longer have value and sanctity of human life. It’s happening in our country people are being taken overseas, so we learnt the church has a role to play in preventing, protecting and raising awareness,”  said  BUSE Centre for Combating Human Trafficking Director, Dr. Chamunorwa Nyoni.

 The churches agreed to fight for the enactment of more policies to curb human trafficking, educate congregants and provide psycho-social support to survivors.

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