Law enforcers call for joint efforts in fighting human trafficking

Law enforcers call for joint efforts in fighting human trafficking

LAW enforcement officers in Kagera region who attended a five-day capacity building training have appealed for joint efforts from all Tanzanians in fighting human trafficking which is a global crisis.

Equally, they commended the Tanzania Relief Initiative (TRI), the Anti- Trafficking Secretariat under the Ministry for Home Affairs (MOHA) and other organizations for playing a key role in fighting the vice.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Josephine Asenga said after attending the training she was now in better position to identify key elements related to trafficking in persons.

She explained that Kagera region shares common borders with four East African Community (EAC) nations-Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya across Lake Victoria.

"Thousands of people, especially women and girls were being subjected to inhuman acts and were being trafficked in different corners of the World. Tanzania has also not been spared. Joint efforts were  thus  needed to combat this global crisis," she said.

Assistant Inspector of Prisons, Venance  Rugaletwa, on his side, said more intelligence was needed in dealing with human trafficking, including identifying key indicators and locations, setting aside special rooms for the victims  and preparing  questioners.

Ms Cecilia Tawa, a resident magistrate at Bukoba Urban primary court explained that cases involving human trafficking need special attention compared to  other  cases. "Normally the law requires  the prosecution to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. But for cases involving  human trafficking the approach is a bit different. A magistrate can act on element before  reaching a decision," she said.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Ahmad Mwendadi, Head of the Training, Advocacy and International Cooperation in the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat Ministry for Home Affairs said  the government was coordinating  other  key  stakeholders in the implementation of the Anti-Trafficking Act.

Elaborating, he said in 2000 the United Nations signed  the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and  Children while the Tanzania parliament passed the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act No 6/2008.

"Despite the said protocols,  the world was still witnessing an increase in trafficking in persons where the criminals pocket millions  of dollars  from the illegal trade,  while unfortunately,  the victims especially women and children  were exposed to inhuman acts resulting in deaths of innocent lives each year," he said.

He explained that  between July 2020 to December last year,  a total of  2018 victims from Tanzania Mainland were rescued  from human trafficking. Out of the number one victim   was found  in Iraq, Kurdistan (1), Malasia (1) Kenya (5)  while 38 victims from Zanzibar were also rescued.

During same period,  seven criminals cases involving trafficking in persons were filed in court involving 26 criminals  while 20 prisoners were serving their sentences after they were convicted of trafficking in persons.

TRI  Director, Mr Edwin Ruga  revealed that at least 1126 Law Enforcement Officers  were trained to respond to trafficking in persons  from different regions including Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Geita, Shinyanga, Simiyu,Mara, Kagera, Mbeya, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.

He said the training was organized by TRI in collaboration with the Ministry for Home Affairs and was funded by the Embassy of Canada.

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter in Bukoba  

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