About 95 percent of Malawians seeking greener pastures in the country or abroad are trafficked without their knowledge.
Malawi Network Against Trafficking in Persons chairperson Rodrick Mulonya said this yesterday in Lilongwe during the commemoration of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons and the launch of Trafficking in Persons Act.
He said most people are trafficked for a wide range of exploitative purposes such as forced labour, sexual exploitation or domestic servitude.
“It is still a problem for people to notice trafficking whether inside or outside the country. Most of them are deceived that they are going to work only to be told they will not be able to communicate with their relatives and have their passports snatched,” said Mulonya.
He said Malawi needs resources to support intercepted victims of trafficking.
According to national project officer on trafficking in persons at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Maxwell Matewere, trafficking in persons figures continue to fluctuate because of lack of proper tracing mechanisms; hence, they rely on police information about the reported cases.
“Since 2013, about 924 people were trafficked outside the country and the figures were high in 2014 which had 242 cases. Most of the people go outside [after being] promised a job which is all in all different when they go there as their passports are snatched,” he said.
Acting United Nations resident coordinator Benoit Thiry said trafficking in persons is a serious crime that causes untold damage to millions of lives across the world.
While admitting that the fight against trafficking is slow, Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi said government is doing all it can to ensure that people are being protected from exploitation.