BLANTYRE--Child Justice Court Judge, Esmie Tembenu, has said police must not exclude government vehicles when conducting searches for potential criminal activities, including human trafficking.
Tembenu was speaking during a public discussion on the role of society in supporting victims of human trafficking in Blantyre.
“Often when police are searching cars in places such as police checkpoints, they do not search vehicles with an MG (Malawi Government) registration number.
“But you can’t say it’s impossible for these vehicles to be used in such crimes as transporting victims of human trafficking,” she said.
Tembenu agreed with other panelists, Maxwell Matewere - who is the Executive Director of Eye of the Child - and Zindaba Chisiza, a theatre and performance scholar, that dealing with the problem of human trafficking requires collaborated effort among various stakeholders.
“Theatre for example can provide space for human trafficking stories, like those of victims to be told and move society into action in search for ways of dealing with the problem,” Chisiza, son of celebrated actor the late Du Chisiza, said.
Taking his turn to make a contribution, Matewere said society must actively look out for victims of human trafficking and report to relevant authorities such as the police who he said have now been trained and established specific offices for dealing with such problems.
The public discussion was organised by the Norwegian Church Aid in collaboration with the Free Expression Institute.
Speaking earlier, Programme Coordinator responsible for prevention of trafficking in women and children at Norwegian Church Aid, Habiba Osman, said continued occurrence human trafficking grossly negates on gains Malawi has made since becoming a democracy in 1993.
She said all Malawians need to actively participate in looking out for victims of trafficking who she said can be found within Malawi in homes, farms or streets working as domestic workers, estate tenants or prostitutes.
“The job must not end at just finding them. We need to place ourselves in a position to then help these victims to get out of their slave-like conditions, be rehabilitated and then integrated back into society,” she said.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.