Human trafficking needs to be addressed in Tanzania

By Jacqueline Focus

Human trafficking is the trade of humans, most commonly for purposes of sexual slavery, forced labor and for the extraction of organs or tissues.

Although it can occur at local levels, human trafficking has international implications, as recognized by the United Nations in the protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons especially woman and children, an international agreement attached to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC) which entered into force on 25 December 2003.

Tanzania has a specific law banning the trafficking of children below the age of 18. Specifically, the Penal Code prohibits procuring children to take them out of Tanzania and from bringing children into or removing them from the country to have them engage in prohibited sexual intercourse. These offences are punishable by imprisonment of 10 to 20 years as well as a fine.

In 2005, Patrick Belser of the ILO estimated that a global annual profit of $31.6 billion was made in human trafficking. In 2008, the United Nations estimated that nearly 2.5 million people from 127 different countries were trafficked into 137 countries around the world.

the ILO estimates that in 2012 there were 246 million exploited children aged between 5 and 17 involved in debt bondage, forced recruitment for armed conflict, prostitution, pornography, the illegal drug trade, the illegal arms trade, and other illicit activities around the world.

According to the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), human smuggling is a crime against the State due to the violation of immigration laws and does not require the violation of the rights of the smuggled migrants to be considered a crime.

The International Organizations for Migration (IOM), the single largest global provider of services to victims of trafficking, reports receiving an increasing number of cases in which victims of trafficking were subjected to forced labor. A 2012 study observes that “…2010 was particularly notable as the first year in which IOM assisted more victims of labor trafficking than those who had been trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation.”

Most Tanzanians are not aware of human trafficking and its victims, especially young girls who work as domestic workers. The Government and NGOs should take urgent measures to address these problems.

Jacqueline is currently upgrading her skills in human rights reporting in Dar es Salaam. Her goal is become an international journalist, focusing on anti-gender violence.


One comment

  1. Jacqueline Focus · · Reply

    KIP IT UP!

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