President Edgar Lungu chairing a meeting on Human Trafficking and forced Labour with the British Prime Minister Theresa May
FIle: President Edgar Lungu chairing a meeting on Human Trafficking and forced Labour with the British Prime Minister Theresa May

Saint Pauls United Church of Zambia Minister in Charge Reverend Vincent Kageya says ignorance, laziness and failure to be content with what one has have been some of the
leading contributors to human trafficking in Zambia.

And Reverend Kageya has called on the Government to introduce in the school syllabus a subject on Human Trafficking which must be taught in schools beginning with early education.

Speaking when he delivered a homily at the commemoration day on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons organised by the Council of Churches in Zambia at Saint Pauls UCZ in Kabwata on Sunday afternoon, Reverend Kageya said the problem Zambia has is that people did not read even when they know how to read.

Reverend Kageya said this led to ignorance and left people vulnerable to harmful vices such as human trafficking as they became easily duped by fraudsters who make millions of dollars out of them.

He said laziness is also a contributor to human trafficking in that people tend to sleep as though they were in competition with the dead, yet were expectant of becoming rich
someday.

Reverend Kageya said it was such expectations which were making people desperate and vulnerable to fraudsters who were duping them into jobs or scholarships which are non-existent and end in becoming victims of human trafficking and forced labour.

He called on the Church and the general public to go out in the communities and spread the word on the causes and dangers of human trafficking in an effort to eliminate it.

Reverend Kageya said people must begin to spread the message through discussions, chats either in person or in writing, failure to which more people would continue becoming victims of human trafficking.

He said the Church is called to liberate those that needed help and victims of human trafficking both in Zambia and beyond where some of the people that needed the help.

Reverend Kageya pointed out that it was for this reason that both the Church and Government must wake up and begin a vigorous fight against human trafficking and forced labour.

He added that people must also develop interest in reading widely so that they would become informed on a wide range of issues affecting humankind, stressing that ignorance was the best enemy to the human race.

Meanwhile, Reverend Kageya called on the Government to introduce in the school syllabus a subject on Human Trafficking which must be taught in schools beginning with early education.

He said if a subject was introduced in the school syllabus and begin to be taught from the time a child is enrolled into school that human trafficking and forced labour were a taboo, such children would do everything possible to defend each other when they grow up.

Reverend Kageya said the Government must work together with the Church and other relevant stakeholders to bring this vice to an end.

He also called on the Council of Churches in Zambia General Secretary Fr Emmanuel Chikoya to consider commemorating the day against trafficking in persons every quarter in order to increase awareness raising among the people in the country.

Meanwhile, The Salvation Army Chief Secretary Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Hawkins who officiated as Guest of Honour called on the Zambian Government to increase its efforts in combating human trafficking and forced labour.

“I wish to call on the Zambian government to more action by echoing the UNHCR recommendations that the following must be considered and implemented: Proactively identify trafficking victims by accurately distinguishing between migrant smuggling and trafficking victims and refer them to protective services; Amend the trafficking law to define
child sex trafficking and vigorously investigate and prosecute sex and labour trafficking cases within Zambia involving both children and adults; Formalize and implement victim identification and referral procedures, and train law enforcement and social welfare officials on their use, including among vulnerable populations; Involve religious leaders in the planning and training on the identification, investigation and prevention of human trafficking;

Expand the availability of shelters; train police, immigration officials, prosecutors, and judges on investigating and prosecuting trafficking crimes; Increase the number of labour inspectors and ensure they are trained on trafficking indicators; strengthen coordination and collaboration efforts between relevant ministries; Finalize an updated multi-year national anti-trafficking strategy and action plan and continue to conduct public awareness campaigns; Compile and make public information on trafficking cases and trends,” said Col. Hawkins.

Colonel Hawkins also took time to acknowledge the efforts Government was making to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons.

“However, the church is aware that even though the government of Zambia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons, it is making significant efforts to do so. As at the last reporting period, the government demonstrated the following in an effort to eliminate human trafficking: The government increased its efforts to address the problem compared to the previous reporting period, earning Zambia an upgrade to tier 2, meaning that the Zambian government has acknowledged the existence of human trafficking and made efforts to address the problem”, he said.

Colonel Hawkins The government identified more victims and referred all the identified victims to protective services.

He said the government revived the national secretariat as well as its inter-ministerial the committee, which met on December 1, 2017, and cooperated with neighbouring governments to share expertise as part of a southern African development community (SADC) regional cooperation initiative.

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