Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 November 2008

Zambia / New Comprehensive Anti-Human Trafficking Law Passed



Zambia / New Comprehensive Anti-Human Trafficking Law Passed


LUSAKA, Zambia, November 28, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Briefing note

IOM welcomes the passing of Zambia’s first law that comprehensively addresses human trafficking in the country.

Newly-elected president, Rupiah Banda, signed The Anti-Human Trafficking Act (No. 11 of 2008) which enables the prosecution of human traffickers and commits the government to providing protection services to victims of the crime.

“This comprehensive new law is far-reaching since it addresses Zambia’s specific concerns of recruitment, transportation and harbouring of persons – particularly young people and women – for the purposes of exploitation,” says Monty Mulikita, Director of Research and Information (HARID) at Zambia’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

The new law gives greater authority and prosecutorial ability to police officers, immigration officers, and customs officials.  Customs officials are now able to search and arrest those suspected of transporting human trafficking victims.  The government is also required to provide protection and compensation to victims of human trafficking.

IOM has been working closely with the Zambian government on anti-trafficking legislation since 2006 as well as with the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC) which helped author the Bill.  

“The law requires the government to lay a solid foundation for prevention, prosecution and protection,” says Maxwell Mainsa, of the ZLDC. “We now have the legal framework to ensure that justice is realized.”    

The Zambian Penal Code did not previously reflect the internationally-recognized definition of human-trafficking in the Palermo Protocol, making it difficult to prosecute perpetrators.

“The sale and exploitation of victims often take place outside of the country – in South Africa, Europe and North America, for example” says Elizabeth Barnhart, IOM’s counter-trafficking officer in Zambia. “This new law will help law enforcement here to prosecute those who are recruiting and handling the victims.”

IOM has been training law enforcement officers at Zambia’s borders to identify potential victims of trafficking before they cross the border.  In addition, IOM provides shelter and services to victims of trafficking, and raises community awareness on safe migration and human trafficking.

The southern African country is a source and transit country for victims of human trafficking. Victims are recruited from villages, as well as urban and peri-urban areas, and often taken South Africa’s urban centres. Once there, they are forced into domestic servitude or sexual exploitation. Other African and Asian victims also transit through Zambia including nationals from East and Central Africa.

SOURCE : International Office of Migration (IOM)


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