Malawi Network against Trafficking (MNAT) has called on government through the Ministry of Finance Economic Planning and Development to increase funding for the implementation of the Trafficking in Persons Act and National Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons.
The call was made on Thursday by MNAT Chairperson Mandinda Zungu during Advocacy Training for the Media on Trafficking in Persons at Golden Peacock in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
Zungu said human trafficking is among the major problems faced by the country in the 21st century hence there is need for commitment from government and other relevant stakeholders to tackle the problem.
Speaking during the opening session of the training, Zungu said MNAT acknowledged that human trafficking is an endemic social problem which need urgent attention.
She also said that the training is a starting point of building a long term and fruitful relationship between the media and MNAT in the fight against trafficking in persons in this country.
Zungu therefore said MNAT is looking forward to a very strong partnership in areas such as advocacy, victim identification, reporting and dissemination of information and best practices in human trafficking management and interventions.
In addition, Zungu said MNAT is inspired by the President Arthur Peter Mutharika’s leadership in putting forward the Trafficking in Persons Act in 2015.
However, Zungu said since the enactment of the law, government only allocated MK50 million in the 2017/18 National budget which she said is very sad because the money is not enough for the implementation of the act.
Speaking during a field visit to an alternative shelter run by Chisomo Children’s Club in Lilongwe, Centre Manager Ireen Ngomano said they receive many children who were rescued from trafficking.
Ngomano said the organization has observed that most of the victims are children from the central region such as Dedza and Lilongwe.
She added that, they have also observed that poverty and school dropout are some of the factors causing the problem in Malawi.
Ngomano therefore said, together with the police and other sectors, MNAT managed to rescue some of the victims and later took them back to their homes after being trained and economically empowered so that they may depend themselves.
She then asked government and other well-wishers to help them with resources so that they may run their programs easily.
Towards the end of the training, Journalists contributed their suggestions saying they need support for the investigative trafficking stories.
Despite that, journalists expressed their satisfactions towards the training as they said they have been equipped with knowledge on how they can handle issues concerning human trafficking.
The training was organized under the Theme of “=Partnership in Combating Human Trafficking” with partnership and support from ReCoat.