Authorities in Chikwawa have singled out the need for the construction of safety homes in the district as one way of ensuring that victims of various crimes are kept there for a smooth monitoring of their cases.
The District’s Social Welfare Officer,Rosemary Mahata made the remarks during an interface meeting which was organized by the Eye of the Child on Human Trafficking issues in Malawi.
Speaking to Malawi24 soon after the meeting, Mahata said as much as her office, the court as well as the police work hard to ensure delivery justice to victims of various cases,these victims are interfered and in most cases they change tune in giving witness to a case while other cases are withdrawn.
She therefore said the construction of safety homes will help various offices in the district such as police, court,immigration to keep victims in such places who will be monitored and make sure they don’t interact with anyone who would change their mind as to contradict court procedures.
However, Mahata commended Eye of the Child for conducting the meeting in the district saying it acted as a milestone which opened their eyes and that it will enhance coordination at district level.
On his part, Eye of the Child, Executive Director, Maxwell Matewere said he was glad that stakeholders during the interface meeting prioritized the need for them to deepen their discussions for the establishment of safety homes which would be used to care and protect the victims.
“Really, this issue needs to be discussed and agreed upon by the stakeholders. We all need to contribute.This is very important because if we carelessly handle the situation of the victims that could lead to our loss in terms of cases that could be taken to court,” he said.
He said victims were prime most witnesses to a crime and become also witnesses to the court cases and there is a need to follow the law in terms of protecting their (victims) interest and also caring for them in a well established and gazetted institution as a safety home.
While commending government for enacting the Trafficking in Persons Act, Matewere stressed a need for all the districts in the country to come up with Trafficking in Persons Management Act by also financing it and implementing the plans.
He said human trafficking was a serious issue whose root causes could be orphan hood, poverty, child labour and more people are becoming victims by the day while calling upon everyone to participate in issues of the 4Ps which means providing guidance, prosecution of suspects, and protection of victims as well as preventing of human trafficking from happening.
The interface meeting was done with support from the NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO GCN).