Expert calls for regional cooperation in fight against human trafficking

National Coordinator for Trafficking in Persons at United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Maxwell Matewere has called for regional cooperation in criminal matters related to trafficking in persons.

He was speaking in Blantyre on Monday during a media and editors’ training on investigation, victim-sensitive and guidelines for reporting Trafficking in Persons

Matewere said that dealing with human trafficking requires an understanding of the fundamental values which lie at the root of the crime and the socio-economic realities which fuel it.

He then called for the need to strengthen of regional cooperation in criminal matters related to trafficking in persons, to strengthen the country’s criminal justice and to follow a victim centered -approach.

“There should also be strengthened victim protection and assistance,” he said.

According to Matewere, human trafficking is the second largest criminal activity in the world following illegal drugs and just in front of illegal arms.

On his part, Chairperson of Network Against Trafficking in Persons Rodrick Mulonya said human trafficking is fuelled by the demand for cheap labour and other issues such as sexual exploitation forced domestic work and forced marriages.

“This is very critical because human trafficking is complex and difficult to investigate as it is growing globally. This crime involves many players including security providers, policy makers making it to be more complicated,” he explained.

Mulonya then commended UNODC for conducting the media training on trafficking in persons, saying it would empower the media with necessary competences, knowledge and skills that would help them discharge their duties effectively in this field

He also encouraged journalists to understand and dig deeper by doing investigations since the main challenge is that people are not aware of the issue around human trafficking.

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