Angola: Government Officials Address Human Trafficking and Child Prostitution

Luanda — The State minister for the Social Area, Carolina Cerqueira, addressed last Thursday, in Luanda, with government officials, issues regarding human trafficking and child prostitution.

The main focus of the meeting was to analyze issues related to the latest reports on human trafficking and child prostitution in Angola, whose levels have recently assumed "alarming proportions". After an extensive discussion on the subject, it was recommended that, within a week, the ministries and institutions involved should develop an Integrated Strategic Plan that will be submitted to the Executive Branch head, aiming for its "emergency" application. According to the secretary of State for the Media, Celso Malavoloneke, the plan should contain the sectoral actions of each institution, as well as a communication strategy and plan to ensure the execution and visibility of such actions.

The secretary of State indicated that the tasks should focus on greater control of the movement of children at airports and border posts and the "intensification of actions to detain illegal immigrants", especially those involved in illegal activities, such as prostitution and trafficking in persons.

The plan will also include psychological recovery and counselling of victims by the Ministry of Social Action, Family and Promotion of Women, as well as an awareness campaign regarding the cultural habits that have been at the basis of human trafficking.

The campaign will unfold both at the level of the media, through the mobilization of civil society, churches and community organizations, the secretary of State further explained.

The meeting also decided to implement an awareness campaign on the "responsible use of the Internet" by adolescents and young people, mainly women. This recommendation has to do with the fact that many cases of abduction, sexual slavery and even death, have been caused by encounters with individuals with whom the adolescents have made contact via social networks.

The meeting was attended by the secretary of the President of the Republic for Social Issues, Fátima Viegas, the ministers of Health, Sílvia Lutucuta, of Social Action, Family and Promotion of Women, Faustina de Almeida Alves, and of Culture, Maria da Piedade de Jesus. The meeting also included the participation of the secretaries of State for Human Rights, Ana Celeste, Social Communication, Celso Malavoloneke, and Education, Jesus Baptista, as well as representatives of the Ministry of the Interior.

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