It is worrying that despite efforts by various stakeholders to curb the escalating numbers of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and child trafficking, the vice continues to affect our society.
Child trafficking, one of the worst forms of GBV is often preceded and caused by the inferior position of women and girls in families, communities and societies around the world, Zambia in particular.
In countries where poverty rates are high and gender inequality is pervasive, GBV can lead to the abuse and isolation of women and girls as well as increase their vulnerability of being trafficked.
There is need therefore to continue joining hands with the Government to find a lasting solution aimed at putting to halt the vices affecting our country.
More collaborative efforts are needed because just like GBV, human trafficking, victims is left devastated.
We believe that the acts of GBV including social discrimination, harmful cultural practices and family violence are committed throughout the countries of varied cultural and religious traditions, political systems and socio economic development.
We think that the direction Government has taken to engaging local authorities countrywide to help identify structures that can be converted into rehabilitation centres for victims of Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and human trafficking is commendable.
Ministry of Community Development and Social Services chief social welfare officer Irene Munga says the centres will help the victims of abuse in society.
The Government with support from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) among others has so far established centers in
Lusaka, Chipata, Kapiri Mposhi and Sesheke districts where victims were now being accommodated and trained in various skills.
We note that this engagement will go a long way in addressing gender-based and structural gender inequalities in counter-trafficking interventions to lessen women's vulnerability to trafficking, reduce community stigma toward survivors and increase effectiveness of survivor reintegration.
All the provincial heads have since been advised to work with councils to identify structures that are not being used which could be turned into shelters for victims of GBV and human trafficking.
It is expected that each province will have a shelter where some victims who are exposed to sexual exploitation and GBV among others who faces challenges in finding safe accommodation, will be accommodated.