Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
Police Commissioner-General Dr Augustine Chihuri has challenged law enforcement agents in Africa to deal “harshly” with all human trafficking syndicates that are taking advantage of the globalised world order and advanced technologies to commit heinous crimes.
He said criminals should never be allowed to reintroduce slavery by whatever form or name. Comm-Gen Chihuri said this in a speech read on his behalf by Police Commissioner Grace Ndebele at the Training for Enforcement Personnel in Trafficking in Human Beings and Interpol Specialised Operational Network Against People Smuggling workshop in Harare yesterday.
Comm-Gen Chihuri said he was confident that the workshop was an opportune moment to design robust strategies against a malady of disturbing, inhumane, debasing and highly-degrading and evil cases of human trafficking that threaten to return the world to slavery.
“Today, we are once again witnessing cases where our brothers and sisters are victims of human trafficking. We are reminded of that sad and dark chapter particularly in the history of the African continent, where our forebears were trafficked and traded as commodities across raging seas during the infamous slave trade,” he said.
He said the victims were mothers, sisters and daughters who were trafficked for forced labour, sexual exploitation, the extraction and harvesting of their organs.
“The physical and emotional pain they endure is too ghastly to mention and to contemplate. Quite evidently, beyond the physical abuse, victims of human trafficking have the ordeal of post-traumatic stress, grief, fear, distrust and persistent suicide thoughts.
“They end up seeking solace in drug and alcohol to numb the pain. As law enforcement agents, we have both a legal and moral obligation to deal harshly with those who trample upon our values,” Comm-Gen Chihuri said.
According to the International Labour Organisation Report of 2012, there were about 21 million human trafficking victims worldwide and 4,5 million people trapped in forced sex trafficking.
The workshop which began yesterday is set to end on Friday. The participants are drawn from seven countries who are members of the International Police Organisations and the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs’ Cooperation Organisations’ (SARPCCO) Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, Swaziland and Namibia. There are also officials from Amsterdam Police.