High poverty levels are forcing under-aged children to voluntarily accept being trafficked to work in degrading conditions as they search for better lives.
Reports indicate that this week alone, the police intercepted a number of young girls and boys in Balaka and Phalombe who were willingly being trafficked to be exploited in various ways.
In Balaka, three out of six girls aged between 14 and 16, who were heading to Lilongwe, have, so far, been rescued.
One of the rescued girls said they had full knowledge that they were being trafficked to Lilongwe to work in an Area 36 brothel because it was better than living in the situation they were in.
“The other two girls and I knew what we were getting ourselves into. We did not tell the younger ones because we knew they would have chickened out,” she said.
Programme coordinator for the organisation, Godfrey Chinkhota, said a stakeholders meeting held in Balaka with the community exposed the malpractice.
Police in Phalombe have also intercepted eight boys aged between 14 and 19 who were willingly travelling to Mozambique to work as child labourers in tobacco estates.
“The eight were riding their bicycles without anyone taking them,” said Phalombe Police spokesperson Augustus Nkhwazi.