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Zim maids sold to Saudi Arabia


ZIMBABWEAN maids are being trafficked to Saudi Arabia at an alarming rate, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said.

Addressing a media workshop on human trafficking in Bulawayo on Wednesday, IOM’s counter-trafficking officer Tapfumanei Kusemwa said this was a new phenomenon.

“However, most of them are arrested at the instigation of their ‘bosses’ on claims that they have no proper documents. Human trafficking networks in Zimbabwe are co-ordinated with bigger players at final destination countries,” he said.

Kusemwa said an estimated $32 billion was generated each year from human trafficking globally.

Speaking at the same function, human rights lawyer Rumbidzai Dube described human trafficking as, “a terrible crime involving the trade of human beings and is usually referred to as modern day slavery because effectively, it is slavery, where people are moved from one place to another whether within the same country, from one country to another and
even from one continent to another”.

She said upon arrival at their final destination, individuals will be exploited for different purposes. The United Nations estimates that 2,5 million people are trafficked each year. Last year, the Zimbabwean media reported that human trafficking syndicates were mushrooming in the country with ringleaders being promised $1 000 for every person they delivered to any foreign land.

In August last year, the IOM reported that Zimbabwe was at the centre of human trafficking in the Sadc region.

The organisation said the US 2011 Trafficking in Persons report, identified Zimbabwe as a “source, transit and destination” country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation.

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