Zim anti-trafficking action plan hailed
Shamiso Makiwa : Herald Reporter
Foreign Governments, regional and international organisations have hailed Zimbabwe for taking positive steps in fighting the scourge of human trafficking by launching the National Plan of Action. Speaking at the launch of the plan during the World Day against Trafficking in Persons commemorations held in Harare last week, representatives of various organisations said human trafficking was a major problem throughout the world.For that reason, they said it takes collaborative effort by different players to fight the cancer and, as such, they will support Zimbabwe in the implementation of the plan. International Organisation for Migration country representative Ms Lily Sanya congratulated Zimbabwe for fighting the human trafficking problem.
“I would like to reiterate IOM’s commitment to continue working with the Government of Zimbabwe on migration, governance issues in general and operationalisation of the Trafficking in Persons National action plan in particular,” she said.
Acting United Nations Resident coordinator in Zimbabwe and World Health Organisation representative, Dr David Okello also hailed the Government for taking positive strides in fighting human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, the children and weak people around the world for different purposes including forced labour, physical and psychological abuse. This is crime that we must fight today.
“The United Nations family here in Zimbabwe remains committed to support the implementation of the National Action Plan launched today and we stand shoulder to shoulder with you,” Dr Okello said.
sadc Secretariat Head of the Gender Unit, Dr Joseph Pitso added: “Thank you for taking the lead in addressing this case. Allow me to further commit the support and effort from the SADC secretariat to continue to collaborate with the Republic of Zimbabwe in strengthening its national response on trafficking in persons.”
United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry Thomas Jnr, said human trafficking was a global challenge that required collective effort if it was to be defeated and its perpetrators.
In a speech read on his behalf by US Embassy second secretary (political and economic affairs) Mr Richard Wesch, Ambassador Thomas hailed Zimbabwe for fighting human trafficking through setting up an inter-ministerial committee and establishing the NAPLAC.
“As you are all undoubtedly aware, human trafficking is a $150 billion illicit industry that touches millions of lives across the world in every country of the world including in United States and in Zimbabwe. Each and every one of us must commit to do everything that we can to end human trafficking in persons.
“The US Government stands ready to engage and partner with the Government of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe people in this effort. Indeed our efforts together will require a different dialogue and a different approach.
“Our position is to collaborate and to energise and most importantly to empower people. We look forward to working with the Government of Zimbabwe to address together, our common enemy — trafficking in persons,” he said.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime adviser Ms Samantha Munodawafa said fighting human trafficking required collaborative effort by all actors.