4 February 2013

Tanzania: Human Trafficking a Must-Fight Menace

IT has come to light that underworld criminal agents lure teenagers, especially girls, into accepting job offers overseas, mainly in Arabia.

According to reports, Tanzania has not been spared in the vice, which is a matter for concern. In Zanzibar where they are reportedly first sent, the unsuspecting victims are handed over to a cartel of agents for transportation arrangements and other transactions.

Yet such hope-inspiring, for the victims that is, often end in untold misery. While in the "promised lands of honey and milk", they become instant captives, slaves in fact. Some girls are shunted into brothels and others are engaged in unpaid domestic servitude.

A recent Interpol report has implicated some Tanzanians in human trafficking, which means the vice is real - in local perspective. Human trafficking is an illegal business that generates billions of dollars in dirty money in various parts of the world, especially in Asia.

It ranks third among the most lucrative illegal businesses after narcotic drugs and firearms. The victims often find themselves working in farms, fishing on high seas, mining or pandering to the whims of cruel masters, doing difficult work. Some youths are shunted into urban centres where they work as cattle minders, farm hands or stone crackers.

As mentioned earlier, some unwitting victims are shipped abroad. Victims of human trafficking face atrocities you might never imagine. After being promised good jobs abroad most victims end up in modern-day slavery. Upon arrival abroad, the victims' passports, birth certificates, national identity cards, and any other documents of citizenship are stripped from the victim's possession.

Parents in the country should be aware that children sold into slavery can also be turned over to brothel owners for sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery and other forms of servitude. Law-enforcing organs and the general public have a concerted role to play to ensure such a vice, alien as it may sound, do not get a chance to thrive within our borders.

All those who will be found or suspected of engaging in this abominable trade must be reported and taken to task. The security details at the embarkation points both on the Mainland and in Zanzibar must be on the watch-out against such dealings - and dealers. They are acts that should not be allowed to take root in our country.

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