Government through Minister of Homeland and Security Richard Chimwendo Banda says the chains binding the victim to the traffickers are underestimated hence the need to ensure that victims are effectively responded to in order to curb Trafficking In Persons (TIP).
Banda said this during a presentation of licences to organisations to operate shelters for trafficked persons on Wednesday at BICC in Lilongwe.
The organizations that received the licenses are Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO), Love Justice Malawi, Salvation Army and Gate Way of Hope.
Speaking with reporters, Banda said there is still much that needs to be done to ensure that victims are effectively responded to and their rights upheld including provision of adequate shelter and legal support.
He added that important steps have been made in recent years to recognise and respond to the problem of trafficking, not only through the prism of law enforcement, but also acknowledging the central needs and rights of the victim in this process.
“Trafficking is not just an issue that affects young girls only, it is multifaceted. Severe exploitation for forms of labour example in areas such as agriculture, the construction industry and domestic work are increasingly coming to the attention of those working to combat trafficking.
“There is clear evidence which has shown that a general climate of criminalisation among illegal migrants and the fear of being arrested, as well as the risk of being deported, often fuel the belief among victims that they do not have any rights”, he explained.
In his remarks, YONECO Executive Director McBen Mkandawire commended government for giving them the licenses and pledged to continue providing care for the survivors of trafficking within and outside the country as they have been doing that for the past 10 years.
He then called upon different players and partners to join hands in supporting this initiative considering that only few are showing interest of joining the activity.