Mensah-Williams proposes imprisonment over fines for human trafficking

19 Dec 2017 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 19 DEC (NAMPA) – National Council (NC) Chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams proposed that fines not be an option for human trafficking offenders and that they instead receive lengthy prison sentences.
Mensah-Williams made the proposal during a continuation of the debate of the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill of 2017 during an urgent NC session on Tuesday.
She said fines will not curb human trafficking as offenders make billions of dollars and can easily pay any fines imposed.
Mensah-Williams said human trafficking traumatises victims and should not be taken lightly.
“We should get rid of penalties, we are taking this thing too lightly. Where is our conscience, are human beings’ lives so worthless?” she said.
Mensah-Williams added that human trafficking exists in Namibia.
“We should stop trying to defend our country as if it will look bad if we acknowledge it. Our country will in fact look bad if we do not acknowledge it and make laws to protect people,” she said.
Parliamentarian Rosa Kavara pointed out that women and children in the rural areas are the most vulnerable to trafficking.
She proposed that the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare embark on community outreach programmes to educate people, saying that many people do not know when they are committing the offence.
The Bill was tabled in the NC last month. A fine not exceeding N.dollars 1 million or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 30 years or both for a person convicted of trafficking was proposed.