Kigali — RWANDA is proposing life sentences for human traffickers amid criticism current laws were not deterrent. Such sentences would be imposed on traffickers of more than one person, repeat offenders and those trafficking vulnerable people like children and pregnant women. Besides the jail term, a bill before parliament proposes a fine of $12 000 (R168 000). "We want to send a strong message that human beings are not commodities," said Nadine Gatsinzi Umutoni, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion. "Whoever thinks otherwise must pay heavily," said the official. President Paul Kagame has also voiced his displeasure at the prevalence of human trafficking in the East African country. Rwanda is a source and, to a lesser extent, destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Current laws prescribe punishments of 15 to 20 years' imprisonment. - CAJ News
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