72 trafficked Zim women yet to be rescued — says Senate President

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By Anna Chibamu

PRESIDENT of Senate, Mabel Chinomona has urged women to seek credible and adequate information regarding diaspora jobs as human trafficking cases are on the increase.

Chinomona told delegates attending the 34th Forum of Women Parliamentarians (the Root Causes of Human Trafficking and Ensuring Survivor Centered Anti-Trafficking Legislation and its Enforcement) during the ongoing 145th Inter Parliamentary Assembly in Kigali Rwanda that 72 Zimbabwean women were yet to be rescued after they were lured to the diaspora on the pretext of getting highly rewarding employment.

“Women should be encouraged to seek adequate information before they embark on such perilous journeys.  Through our representative function, as legislators we also have a responsibility to share information with our constituents about these human trafficking schemes, so that young girls and women do not fall victim,” Chinomona said, who doubles as Zanu PF Women’s League secretary for administration.

In her speech, Chinomona warned women to be alert as international trafficking syndicates use the allure of well paying jobs to attract them.

“The global scourge of women being trafficked emanates from the lure of attractive jobs outside the country. In most cases these turn out to be fake. Most of the time women find out too late their predicament after falling prey to these machinations.

“Majority of women are lured by promises of attractive, well-paying jobs offered by agents of criminal networks without realising the full nature of their future employment or the conditions in which they will work.

“In fact, most job opportunities for women migrants are in unregulated sectors such as farming, domestic and care work as well as the sex industry,” the Senate President added.

Most worryingly, according to Chinomona, trafficking in persons was part of organised crime that has continued to give law enforcement agents a torrid time as methods of smuggling people were ever evolving.

“Lack of adequate information to women plays a pivotal role in the trafficking of women and children.”

Chinomona called for more to be done to close the knowledge gap, resultantly reducing cases of human trafficking.

“Furthermore, women have less access to information on migration or job opportunities, recruitment channels and often have less preparation than men to cope with the working and living conditions in the countries of destination.

“Zimbabwe has domesticated some provisions of the international protocol on trafficking to include the criminalisation of offenders as well as enacting survivor centered provisions for victims of trafficking.

“Article 6 Paragraph 1, of the Protocol calls on Member States that, “in appropriate cases and to the extent possible under its domestic law, each State party shall protect the privacy and identity of victims of trafficking in persons, including inter alia, by making legal proceedings relating to such trafficking confidential”.

The 145th IPU Assembly is running under the theme, “Gender Equality and Gender Sensitive Parliaments As Drivers of Change For A More Resilient and Peaceful World.”