British High Commissioner to Zambia, Fergus Cochrane-Dyet has called on the country to do more in order to curb human trafficking in Zambia.
Speaking during the launch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes Zambia project on Trafficking in Persons, he said as one of the nations taking the lead in championing the issue of modern slavery and trafficking, the UK welcomes the chance to raise awareness on this horrific issue.
“Today there is recognition that human trafficking goes on in different forms everywhere in the world, including my own country the UK. The term “Modern Slavery” has been coined to describe the continuation of the disgraceful trade into modern times”, he said.
He stated that Zambia has adopted an admirably honest and determined stance on the issue which matters a lot because there is a significant Modern Slavery problem in Zambia, which is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sexual exploitation.
Mr. Cochrane said trafficking occurs mostly within Zambia’s borders, with those from rural areas exploited in urban centres, in domestic servitude or sex-trafficking, and in conditions of forced labour in sectors such as agriculture, textiles, and mining.
The High Commissioner has since commended the project and is delighted that it is receiving funding from the UK.
“The UK has been one of the lead nations championing the issue of modern slavery and trafficking by raising awareness of this scourge across the world”, he said.
According to official international figures, there is an estimated 92,000 victims of modern slavery in Zambia. In September 2017, at the UN General Assembly in New York, President Lungu and the British Prime Minister Theresa May co-hosted a session on Modern Slavery, and both countries signed the UNGA Call to Action to end Modern Slavery.
Zambia was one of the first countries in the SADC Region to enact specific and comprehensive trafficking in persons legislation, namely The Anti-Human Trafficking Act No. 11 of 2008. An inter-ministerial steering committee was established and the country developed a comprehensive national strategy and action plan to combat trafficking in persons namely – the Anti-Human Trafficking National Action Plan (2012-2015).
Working through UNODC’s partnership with the Zambian authorities the project will seek to prevent and address trafficking by assisting the authorities to develop and implement a comprehensive approach. UNODC’s role will be to coordinate.
The project’s purpose will be to increase local ownership and sustainability.