A joint United Nations programme to counter human trafficking in Zambia which involves IOM, UNICEF and the International Labour Organization (ILO) has been boosted by Euros 1.6 million funding from the European Commission.
The three-year programme is a key part of a national effort to create awareness of the issue in the country and will strengthen the ability of government and non-government agencies to detect and respond to human trafficking in addition to tackling its root causes.
IOM, ILO and UNICEF will focus on preventing human trafficking through mass communication, the training of private and public sector officials on the implementation of anti-trafficking legislation and working with the Zambian police to revise their crime reporting and data management systems.
A 2007 ILO study on the nature and extent of child trafficking in Zambia showed that high poverty and unemployment levels have created an environment where victims are easily duped by human traffickers. The study notes that the internal trafficking of children, mainly from poor households, for domestic labour or sexual exploitation appears to be the most prevalent form of human trafficking in Zambia.
Girls and children without access to education are at a greater risk of being trafficked than others. In response, the Zambian government has adopted a new national policy that aims to eradicate human trafficking in the country through combined measures to raise awareness of the issue and to stamp out the root causes while ensuring victims are protected and perpetrators are prosecuted.
The enactment of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that prescribes stiff penalties for human traffickers will help facilitate their prosecution.