13 July 2017

Zimbabwe Expecting More Trafficked Women to Return From Kuwait

Photo: Masixole Feni
A Zimbabwean passport (file photo).

Harare — Zimbabwe said Wednesday it is expecting more women who were trafficked to Kuwait to come back home.

Zimbabwe learnt last year that an estimated 200 Zimbabwean women were stranded in Kuwait after falling victim into human trafficking schemes.

Since then, 128 women have been returned to Zimbabwe. They had been lured to the Arab country after being promised lucrative jobs only to be turned into slaves by their employers.

The Zimbabwean government said the women were recruited by friends and relatives. While in Kuwait, the women were subjected to harsh working environments and suffered physical abuse.

The first group of 32 women was repatriated in April 2016 while the latest group arrived back in the country in May.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Ngoni Masoka said more women were still expected back in the country from Kuwait.

"It is worth mentioning that more women are still expected to come as more awareness is raised with the support of the Zimbabwean Embassy in Kuwait," the permanent secretary said while addressing a parliamentary committee Wednesday.

To reduce vulnerabilities that may push victims back into being trafficked, the International Organization of Migration in partnership with the ministry had sourced funding for provision of medical and psycho-social support to the identified victims, Masoka said.

"The first hundred returnees have submitted project proposals that will be funded to a maximum of 1,500 dollars each to start income generating projects," he said.



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