At least 80 police officers in Thyolo have been trained on human trafficking and police say the training will help officers in identifying, intercepting and processing human trafficking cases.
Opening the training on Tuesday, 11 May 2021, Thyolo police General duties Officer Senior Superintendent Alice Gwembere said that these types of cases are common these days and there is a need for the officers to have relevant knowledge.
Gwembere said human trafficking is a human rights violation and as law enforcers they have the obligation to root it out.
“I sincerely thank Love Justice Malawi for organizing this important training which will help in imparting knowledge to the officers. I therefore urge all participants to be serious in following the presentations so that we make Thyolo safe and secure,” Gwembere said.
Training coordinator for Love Justice Malawi, Frank Banda, said his organization was committed to ensuring that every police officer is equipped with the desired knowledge adding that since the enactment of the Trafficking in Persons Act in 2015, there have been some gaps in terms of handling such cases.
“We observed that many cases were flopping when taken to court so we thought we should do something. It is our expectation that after these trainings there will be good collaboration between police and various stakeholders including NGOs,” Banda said.
He added that for some time now, human trafficking issues have been sidelined and they want this to change. He therefore, concurred with Gwembere that human trafficking is a rights violation and there is need for stakeholders to work together.
One of the participants Sergeant Michael Missi described the training as an eye-opener, saying there have been situations that he overlooked cases due to lack of relevant knowledge.
Missi observed that following the training, his execution of duties will not be the same again.
“We normally work in roadblocks where we meet many people. I believe with this training, I will be able to detect these cases,” he said.