Namibia not immune to human trafficking: Imalwa

12 Jun 2017 18:40pm
By Mathias Nanghanda
OSHAKATI, 12 JUN (NAMPA) – Namibia is not immune to human trafficking, Prosecutor-General (PG) Martha Imalwa has said.
Speaking at the start of a workshop on trafficking in persons at Oshakati on Monday, Imalwa said an 11-year-old boy who went missing in Namibia last year was found in South Africa.
In another case, a four-year-old girl went missing in Windhoek and was found in a crate in the back of a truck in the Bwabwata National Park.
“In Rundu, there was a story of a man who wanted to sell his son to any willing buyer. This information fortunately got to the Police and he was arrested,” Imalwa said.
The PG’s office sought the assistance of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to educate people from various institutions on human trafficking, hence the five-day workshop.
She said global statistics on human trafficking, which reportedly generates profits of billions every year, are “frightening”.
“Human trafficking is said to be the third largest international crime industry, after illegal drugs and arms trafficking,” Imalwa said.
She went on to say according to the United States of America State Department, 600 000 to 800 000 people are trafficked across international borders every year.
“Of these, 80 per cent are women and half are children,” Imalwa pointed out.
Namibia is not immune to this occurrence, as the PG said Angolan children below the age of 16 are often found in Namibia without parents or guardians. She said some sell sweets on the streets, while others are employed as housekeepers or cattle herders.
“No child below the age 16 is allowed to enter into Namibia without their parents,” she said.
Participants in the training include social workers, representatives of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), Immigration, Customs and Excise and Ministry of Labour.
They are being trained to understand and detect elements of human trafficking, investigate it and fight it effectively.
UNODC Regional Capacity Building Officer, Greenwell Lyempe told the participants his organisation will continue mobilising resources to help Namibia in such training.
NamPol Inspector-General, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga also attended the official opening of the workshop.