Human Trafficking a serious problem in Tanzania

By Grace Kambarage

Trafficking of people in Tanzania remains a critical challenge as innocent people are being trafficked day to day with no serious action being taken.

The Anti-Trafficking Person Act of 2008 stipulates that it is an offence to recruit, transport, transfer, harbor, provide or receive a person by any means including those done under the pretext of domestic or overseas employment, training or apprenticeship, for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage.

The 2012 Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) report indicates that two human traffickers were arrested in Dar es Salaam, one being Mr. Jamaluddin Abdul Kahar, an Afghan citizen and another Ashok Kumar Khadraka, a citizen of Pakistan. They were both arrested by Tanzanian and Kenyan authorities.

The LHRC report also indicates that in May of 2012, there was information revealed concerning a person with albinism (PWA) aged three years who was transported to Burkinafaso. The source of information regarding this issue was revealed a testimony from a Good Samaritan who witnessed the whole scene at the airport.

Jane Jonathan, a resident from Mbagala, claims that she is also a victim of human trafficking. “Last year, I was at bus stand waiting for a bus to Posta and along came a certain dala dala that asked me where I was heading to. I answered them and they told me that they had the same journey, unfortunately they took me to place that I didn’t know. I found seven other ladies who later were taken and disappeared. I was the only one there with a security guard who told me that the ladies went to be killed and that I should wait for my turn. God is Mighty because I managed to escape” she said.

Stephen John Mbezi, a resident of Tanzania, believes that it is the government’s fault that innocent people are being trafficked. He said that the Tanzanian People Defense Force (T.P.D.F) has a mandate to protect the country’s border but doesn’t think that they are doing their work effectively.

The Tanzanian Constitution under Article 14 guarantees the right to life. The government, especially the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defence, need to collaborate in ensuring that the country is free from illegal immigrants which will reduce the vulnerability of Tanzania being a transit to external trafficking in persons.

Grace’s goal is to become a successful journalist who helps the community in fighting for their rights, and national development at large.

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