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Treat immigrants with human dignity: AACC

Local News
ZCC Rev Wilfred Dimingu: Pic by Kudakwashe C Marufu

The All African Conference of Churches (AACC) has urged countries to treat immigrants with human dignity to promote good International relations amid reports that migration and human trafficking were increasing as a result of poverty and political issues.

Speaking on behalf of Chief Director of Social Development in the ministry of Public Service at a conference hosted by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) in Harare, Fanwell Dzoma said Zimbabwe has received over hundred returnees monthly.

Zimbabwe has been receiving over 100 returnees on a monthly basis from both South Africa and Botswana and among the migrants are persons with various vulnerabilities ranging from separated and unaccompanied minors, pregnant women, persons with disabilities. The trend has shown issues of circular migration giving a reflection that there is a gap on the reintegration strategy,” he said.

Dzoma added: “In 2024, 4 cases of Human Trafficking from Oman were reported and the victims we safely repatriated to Zimbabwe”    

In an Interview with NewsDay on the sidelines of the conference, General Secretary for migrants in Europe Torsten Moritz said countries should come together and remove some boundaries which prohibit the free movement of people from one place to another.

He also said that there are different levels on which countries can cooperate in a bid to address issues of human trafficking and migration to create favourable international relations.

“Of course, the United Nations has on a global level provided two instruments, the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact on Migrations. Both are not binding, but I think they offer a very useful framework of cooperation between governments. And then you have all kinds of regional cooperation mechanisms, and I think here in Southern Africa, the Southern African Development Corporation is a very good example.  

We have seen it in other regions of Africa, and to my knowledge, even the African Union is looking at cooperation on migration. We in Europe, of course, have the experience of the European Union, and initially, migration was a very small part of it, but what we nowadays call internal freedom of movement within the EU migration arrangement. And the arrangement is that within the 27 member states of the European Union, you can freely migrate back and forth, settle there, and take up a job,” Moritz added.

Migration flows create opportunities for people seeking better lives, but also present challenges for international relations. Traffickers exploit vulnerabilities of migrants, who may lack documentation or face desperation, luring them into forced labor, sexual exploitation, or other horrific situations. This not only harms individuals but also destabilizes regions and strains cooperation between countries struggling to manage migration and protect the vulnerable.

ZCC General Secretary Reverend Wilfred Dimungu told NewsDay that:

"The first thing that we need to deal with is the issue of the reason, the push factors and also the reality that people always move from one country to another and for various reasons. Yes, we appreciate that some may move for sinister reasons, but obviously they are genuine cases and that's what we should focus on. Countries or governments should make sure that they've got legislation that deals with that issue. But most importantly, how those people are treated and how the human dignity is accorded to those people and their rights are protected. I think that that is what is most important,” Dimungu said.

He added that states should be able to converse among themselves looking at the push factors as the major without making those people suffer.

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