News

IOM Press Briefing Notes
Tuesday 27 October 2009
Spokesperson: Jean-Philippe Chauzy

ANGOLA – Preventing Human Trafficking in Build Up to African Cup of Nations
ZIMBABWE – Supporting Displaced Children’s Right to Education

ANGOLA – Preventing Human Trafficking in Build Up to African Cup of Nations – A two-day conference focusing on what can be done to prevent a potential escalation in human trafficking in Angola ahead of the African Cup of Nations football tournament to be held in the southern African country in early 2010, begins tomorrow, 28 October in Luanda.

Organized by the Angolan Interior Ministry and IOM, the conference will feature experts from various government ministries from Brazil, South Africa and Portugal as well as IOM officials from its mission in Germany to share with participants their experiences on fighting human trafficking during big sporting events.

2010 is a big year for major sporting events, particularly in Southern Africa. The African Cup of Nations takes place in Angola between 10-31 January while South Africa hosts the football world cup between 11 June and 11 July 2010.

In total 120 people from various government ministries, including the Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Social Reintegration, Justice, Education, Family and Tourism, will participate in the conference funded by the British Embassy in Luanda and the Norwegian government.

With lots of football fans expected to converge on Angola ahead of the tournament, increasing migration flows to and within the country, there are growing concerns among women’s rights groups in the country that the inevitable influx of tourists will set a fertile ground for sex work that could be exploited by human traffickers.

“Although this is a potential worry, we need to turn it into an opportunity by raising awareness of human trafficking on a scale that has not been seen before in Angola. With a lot of international attention on the region next year, we have to grab some of it to ensure traffickers don’t win. It is also an opportunity for both the government and civil society to engage more actively on countering human trafficking,” says Katharina Schnöring, IOM Chief of Mission in Angola.

In addition to co-organizing the conference, IOM is working with the Ministry of Interior, UNICEF and the organizers of the African Cup of Nations (ACN) on an information campaign that raises awareness on Human Trafficking of children during the ACN.

According to the US State Department’s 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report, Angola is primarily a source country for trafficking, mainly that of women and children internally for domestic servitude and young men for forced agricultural labour.

However, Angolan women and children are also trafficked to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Portugal.

For further information, please contact Katharina Schnöring, IOM Angola, Tel: 00244 924 643 032 Email: kschnoring@iom.int

ZIMBABWE – Supporting Displaced Children’s Right to Education – Nearly 25,000 displaced children in Zimbabwe are expected to have a safer, healthier and more conducive school environment through a new programme aimed at improving educational services for mobile and vulnerable children.

The programme, targeting 40 marginalized and neglected schools in need of emergency assistance in the capital Harare and in the districts of Hwange, Makoni, Mutare and Chpinge, aims to tackle some of the most pressing issues faced by displaced children in the country.

The state of the national education system, characterized by resignations, absenteeism and low morale among teachers, significant numbers of school drop out and violence against children is considerably worse among mobile and vulnerable populations.

human trafficking 101

What is constantly emerging in discussions with various people, including students and community members in Zimbabwe, is that there is inadequate knowledge of what human trafficking is. Most people are not aware of the fact that there is human trafficking in Southern Africa while others are not aware of what form human trafficking takes. A common misconception is that human trafficking solely refers to the abduction of humans for trade across borders and sale of organs. While this is partly true, it should be noted that human trafficking takes various forms and is not restricted to forced abductions and trade across borders.

A more succint definition is provided  in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, which supplements the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crimes. According to the Protocol :

“Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

Over the course of the next few years, SAAHTT will continue to use this blog and other mediums to debunk myths about human traficking and raise awareness on the occurence of human trafficking and what individuals and various organisations can do to stop human trafficking in Southern Africa and indeed in the world.