Judge of the High Court of Malawi, Fiona Mwale, has disclosed that 2.4 million people suffer the misery of human trafficking and smuggling globally, with traffickers earning an estimated US$32 billion from sale, exploitation and abuse of trafficking victims annually.
Mwale made the revelation when she opened a daylong human trafficking awareness workshop in Lilongwe on Monday.
The workshop has been organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Government of Malawi and in partnership with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Malawi Girls Guides Association (MAGGA), Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM), Mangochi Youth Office, Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services, Malawi Police Service, Gateway of Hope, Love Justice Malawi, Chance for Change, Plan Malawi, MBC Television, Hope Television and Save the Children.
Mwale said human trafficking and smuggling of migrants continues to be pervasive and a lucrative criminal enterprise in the world.
“Children, women, migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking,” she said.
The judge therefore challenged government and its partners to devise measures that should ensure the balancing of progressive and proactive prevention and law enforcement activities that combat the market forces driving human trafficking in many destination countries.
Mwale emphasized that ‘with very few victims being detected when it matters most, the country needs to work closely with enforcement bodies to increase the risks of arrest, trial and imprisonoment of traffickers’.
“To achieve this, we must forge partnerships and empowering key groups within societies, particularly women and young women,” she said.
IOM Chief of Mission Nomagugu Ncube said the objective of the orientation workshop is to sensitize girls and young women in Malawi on the causes and consequences of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.
Ncube added that the workshop will provide an opportunity to remind the international transporters on their obligation under the Trafficking in Persons Act of 2015.