Officers Need to be Trained to Combat Trafficking in Persons – MHRC

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Malawi Human Rights Commission says as a country we need more officers to be trained in the use of tools/laws to combat the crimes of smuggling and trafficking in Persons.

Speaking during the opening of a 3 day human rights training for Dzaleka Refugee Camp Frontline officers, partners and service providers in Mponela, Dowa on Monday 14 December, 2020, MHRC Exucutive Secretary Habiba Osman said as a country we really need to do more for us to combat the malpractice.

“I think as a Nation we really need to do more because as you have heard that Dzaleka has got over 46 thousands refugees and then again in Malawi we have 17 million plus people, so for us to only have 10,000 enforcement officers to be taking care the issues of trafficking and smuggling is not enough. We need more officers to be trained, we need more law enforcers to go in various districts not only just 6 districts but the whole of Malawi including also strengthening our boarders, boarder patrols and also information and disseminating to everyone else who is involved as the Frontline workers in this work”,said Osman.

She also noted that there is need to invest in data collection because sometimes we have different data that is coming out.

“So I believe capacity building is one area but also there is need for us to invest in data collection our data needs to be harmonised and then we need to have asystemic way of collecting data but also sharing it. At the moment I think our data sources are not reliable but we believe with the standard of rating procedures helping with issues of identification as well as tracking traffickers or others that will be useful. So I think capacity building, data is very critical but again also dissemination of information and sharing of relevant laws and tools to this enforcement officers as well as raising awareness in the community it must continue because a lot of people really really don’t know what these laws are and we really need to continue with awareness raising”,said Osman.

She then commended UNODC for extending and realizing the dangers the country has noting the surge in these cases by organising training to the Frontline workers that will help in combating the malpractice.

“I commend UNODC for organising this training , the training whose overall goal is on protocals for trafficking in Persons, victim detection, identification, interception and refarral for adequate care at Dzaleka. This is timely and crucial training for Frontline officers, senior managers, service providers and Dzaleka Refugee Camp partners on Trafficking in Persons, the legal framework, Malawi Standard Operating procedures and National Referral mechanism for trafficking in persons victims identification and assistance”,said Osman.

She further emphasized much on some opportunities to strengthen the response which includes, dissemination information on TIP and response mobilization, improving and introducing comprehensive training on smuggling as a crime closely related to human Trafficking and protection of vulnerable groups to MHRC mandate under national laws and International protocals.

Among other things the training objectives is for participants to understand what is trafficking in persons, national and international legal framework and also understand the trafficking in persons Act ( 2015) standard operating procedures and National Referral mechanism.