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128 trafficked women return home

Local News
Human Trafficking

SENATE President Mabel Chinomona says 128 women who were victims of human trafficking have been repatriated to the country from several countries.

Many Zimbabweans, especially women, have been lured mainly to the Middle East where they have been forced into back-breaking domestic work and sex slavery.

Some are lured by false job promises and end up being stranded.

Addressing participants at an enforcement forum for women parliamentarians in Kigali, Rwanda yesterday, Chinomona said the majority of the female victims were lured by promises of well-paying jobs offered by networks without realising the nature of their future employment or the working conditions.

“In recent years, the Zimbabwean government learnt that about 200 of its female citizens had been trafficked after falling prey to human trafficking schemes. Efforts were made by the government to assist these women, but only 128 women were rescued and repatriated home,” Chinomona said.

“The programme was conducted in collaboration with the International Organisation of Migration, which assisted with funding for medical and psycho-social support to the identified victims.

“The Trafficking in Persons Protocol is a commendable international agreement which calls for the criminalisation of trafficking of persons as well as the provision of survivor-centred institutions or policies for victims.”

Chinomona said Zimbabwe had criminalised human trafficking, and offered survivor-centred programmes for victims.

“The law allows for compensation of victims of trafficking by the perpetrator, such as loss of income, damage to property and medical expenses, among other things".

“Through our representative function, as legislators we also have a responsibility to share information with our constituents about these human trafficking schemes, so that young girls and women do not fall victim,” she said.

Foreign affairs deputy minister David Musabayana said the repatriated women would be assisted by the Home Affairs and the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministries.

A 2016 report based on the Global Slavery Index estimated that there may be about 480 000 people in some Middle East countries who live in modern slavery.

l Follow Harriet on Twitter @harrietchikand1


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