Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill tabled

09 Nov 2017 21:00pm
WIDNHOEK, 09 NOV (NAMPA) – The Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill of 2017 was tabled in the National Assembly (NA) on Thursday.
The Bill aims to give effect to the United Nations’ Protocol to prevent, suppress, criminalise and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children. It also seeks to protect and assist victims of trafficking.
Human trafficking is the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by such means as a threat or use of force, abduction, coercion, fraud or deception for purposes of exploitation.
Tabling the Bill, Deputy Minister for Gender Equality and Child Welfare Lucia Witbooi said the Bill would provide appropriate penalties and assistance for the protection of victims of trafficking.
“Namibia is alleged to be the country of origin, transit and destination for women, children and possibly men subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region,” she stated.
Witbooi also noted that out of 15 SADC countries, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo were the only countries that did not have a stand-alone legislation on trafficking in persons.
“Other provisions that deal with crimes related to human trafficking are the Namibian Constitution; Combating of Rape Act of 2000; Labour Act of 2007; and Child Care and Protection Act of 2015 to name a few,” she said.
Witbooi explained that the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill is of great importance to the protection of human rights in Namibia, and would thus give effect to the country’s obligations to international agreements binding to it.