ZIMBABWE has failed to meet minimum standards aimed at fighting human trafficking and prosecuting ringleaders by not amending the anti-trafficking law, the United States Department has said.
According to a report on 2023 trafficking in persons report by the US States Department, Zimbabwe has been placed on Tier 2 Watch list over several areas the southern African country has fallen short in combating the vice.
Tier 2 Watch list means that the government does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so.
“The Zimbabwe government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The government did not amend its anti-trafficking law to criminalise all forms of trafficking. Reports of low-level official complicit in trafficking crimes persisted,” the report read.
“The government did not provide sufficient resources for victim protection, relying on NGOs and international organisations to provide the majority of services to trafficking victims. Additionally, significant backlogs of pending trafficking investigations and prosecutions remained.”
The US Department urged authorities in Harare to expedite the resolution of cases on human trafficking in the courts.
“Adequately fund and provide specialised training to law enforcement, labour inspectors, prosecutors, and judicial officials to conduct human trafficking investigations and prosecutions, particularly as distinct from labour law and immigration violations, using a victim-centred approach,” it said.
The report said there is need to collect data on human trafficking trends within Zimbabwe to better inform government’s anti-trafficking efforts.
- Turkey denies human trafficking reports
- China-backed controversial mega project in Myanmar rapidly becoming human trafficking hub
- 4 000 prisoners granted amnesty
- 128 trafficked women return home
Cases of human trafficking have been rampant in Zimbabwe where traffickers use false promises to lure desperate citizens seeking to escape from the country’s never-ending socio-economic crisis.
Victims have found themselves trapped in sex trade and forced labour, particularly in the Middle East.