Use ICT to combat human trafficking: UN

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Ziyambi Ziyambi

BY TAPFUMANEI MUCHABAIWA
THE United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has called on UN member States to implement technology-based solutions to solve human trafficking problems.

UNHCR commemorated the World Day Against Human Trafficking in Persons on Saturday. The day is observed internationally on July 30 each year.

Recently, Zimbabwe was adjudged by the United States Embassy as one of the countries struggling to rehabilitate human trafficking victims and to deal with the scourge.

UNHRC said the borderless nature of information communication technologies (ICTs) were enabling human traffickers to expand their reach and profits with impunity, hence countries needed to adopt ICT-based technology to counteract it.

In a statement, UNHRC said: “With global expansion in the use of technology, the crime of human trafficking has fully conquered cyberspace. Technology is a powerful tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking. Future success in eradicating human trafficking will depend on how law enforcement and criminal justice systems use technology.

“It is essential to implement sustainable technology-based solutions to identify and protect victims and to end human trafficking once and for all. On World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, let’s raise awareness that the crime of human trafficking has fully conquered cyberspace, presenting both challenges and opportunities.”

Last Friday, the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) met in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, where the Committee of Ministers of Justice and Attorney-Generals said legal instruments and law reviews should be put in place, and appropriate national, regional and international legal frameworks crafted to combat human trafficking.

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi confirmed Zimbabwe’s participation at the Sadc meeting, but said he was not at liberty to share Zimbabwe’s contribution.

On July 19, the US Department of State released the 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report, otherwise known as the “TIP Report” in which Zimbabwe was ranked lowly among the 188 countries and territories assessed for failing to fully meet the minimum elimination of human trafficking standards, despite making concerted efforts to do so.

Zimbabweans, especially females, are being trafficked to the Middle East where they are enslaved or used as sex slaves.

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