18 Dec 2017 13:30pm
WINDHOEK, 18 DEC (NAMPA) The National Council (NC) has strongly condemned human trafficking and slavery.
Reacting to recent media reports on the alleged sexual exploitation of a Namibian woman who fell victim to human trafficking in the United Kingdom, NC Chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams said Parliament plays an important role in ending the practice.
The NC convened an urgent session on Monday to review the Urban and Regional Planning Bill of 2017, as well as the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill of 2017 and Education Amendment Bill of 2017.
Mensah-Williams said human trafficking is a reality that affects many women, children and men in Namibia.
According to the International Labour Organisation, there are over 40.3 million people worldwide who have been trafficked in various forms of modern slavery and Namibia is both a destination as well as exporter of victims of trafficking in persons, she said.
She noted that by review and passing of the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill of 2017, Government will have the tools it needs to protect and prosecute criminals who profit from exploiting others.
Victims of modern slavery are unable to leave their situation of exploitation, because they are controlled by threats of punishment, violence, coercion and deception, hence the urgent need for the bill.
She further noted that Namibia has an obligation to tackle human trafficking under the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime, however she stressed that the proposed sentences in the current bill are too lenient.
I think there should not be an option of a fine upon the conviction of a human trafficker, she said.
Mensah-Williams urged all councillors to create awareness of the dangers of human trafficking in their constituencies.