Lilongwe — Government has said the country has made steady progress in the fight against modern day slavery and trafficking persons in order to combat it.
Minister of Homeland Security, Nicholas Dausi made the call Thursday during the commemoration of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons and launch of Tracking Act; Regulation and Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) and National Referral Mechanism (NRM) at Sunbird Capital Hotel in Lilongwe.
The Minister said government has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring the vice in line with international protocols.
"The most important is the Palermo Protocol to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime which requires enactment of domestic legislation to criminalize trafficking and to make steps to aid victims of trafficking," he said
Dausi pointed out that since the enactment of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Act in 2015, the country has registered some achievements in terms of establishing National Coordination Committee Against Trafficking in Persons, developing a five-year National Plan of Action to combat trafficking in Person; appointment of police, immigration and labourers officers and the Operational of the Anti-Trafficking Fund.
He said acknowledged that with the support of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), Malawi has developed TIP Data management System which has enabled us to collect data, report and use the information inform strategies and policies.
The Minister said government has prepared Regulations and standard operating procedures for identification and assistance to victims of trafficking in persons and national referral mechanism.
"These Regulations and SOPs and NRMs will provide a clear guidance for the identification of trafficked persons. It is hopped this guideline and referral mechanisms will serve as a basis for multi-agency cooperation among law enforcement agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other public institutions in identifying potential and presumed victims and trafficking in persons," he stated.
Dausi thanked various partners it has been working with and Government of United Kingdom for providing financial support and United Nations Office Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for technical expertise in this area.
Acting British High Commissioner to Malawi, Gary Leslie pledged to continue supporting the country as it looks to implement the anti-human trafficking measures set out in its legislation.
"We are looking forwards to more successful and stronger support and protection of victims of trafficking in persons," he said.
Chairperson of Malawi Network Against Trafficking in Persons (M-NAT), Rodrick Mulonya said increased awareness and monitoring of trafficking crimes would help to reduce cases along the border districts.
He said there was need to provide shelters and protection services for victims through in kind or material support for the expansion of direct service provision.
National Project Officer on Trafficking in persons at UNODC Malawi Office, Maxwell Matewere said the Malawi country programme which was launched last year managed to rescue 13 victims and successful secured three convictions.
He said over 32 suspects were apprehended for being involved in the acts of trafficking and 16 of them were convicted by courts.
This year's commemoration theme was Human Trafficking; call your government to action.