Trafficking in Persons Act needs to be revised- Says Ministry of Homeland Security

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The Malawi Government through the Ministry of Homeland Security says the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Act guidelines need to be revised to improve efficiency in justice delivery.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Homeland Security Dr. Steve Kayuni said there was confusion amongst the courts when human trafficking cases were brought forward because sentences would differ hence the need to revise the act.

“When cases were brought before the courts, sentences would differ in terms of the length of the judgment where it will be lower to the other court and at the same time, higher to another court and this would sometimes raise questions to the general public on what is happening within the justice system of the country hence the need to come up with proper guidelines that will be able to provide answers to the public,” he said.

Kayuni, who is also the Chairperson for the National Coordination Committee against Trafficking in Persons added that they want to ensure proper persuasive aspects on the part of the Judiciary and also bring back people’s trust when it comes to cases of Trafficking in Persons.

On his part, Chairperson for the Task Force Justice, Joseph Chigona said the issue of Trafficking in Persons has been a problem for a long time because of lenient sentences that have made it very difficult for the authorities to fight the perpetrators of human trafficking hence the need to revise the act and come up with new laws.

Chigona added that the revised guidelines will guide the magistrates on how to go with human trafficking cases whenever they are brought before the courts of law. 

“We want to work together with different players including the international bodies, Police, and Civil Society Organizations, among others to ensure that we are on the right track on this matter,” he explained.

Meanwhile, a trafficked person is a person or child who has suffered harm, including mental and physical injury, emotional suffering, economic loss, or substantial impairment of the person’s fundamental human rights through acts that contravene sections 14 and 15.

Trafficking in persons means recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring, receiving, or obtaining a person, within or beyond the territory of Malawi.

The Trafficking in Persons 2017 Act states that the Act shall apply to a natural or legal person where the offense is committed wholly or partly within Malawi or if it is committed outside Malawi.

The trafficked person is a citizen of Malawi or it is committed outside Malawi by a citizen of Malawi or a person who is a resident in Malawi.

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