British High Commissioner Warns There Is A Significant Modern Slavery Problem in Zambia
At the launch of a new People Trafficking initiative by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, the British High Commissioner warned guests that there was a significant modern slavery problem in Zambia.
He urged Zambia to follow the UK’s lead and do more to raise awareness of this inhumane practice.
“Today there is recognition that human trafficking goes on in different forms everywhere in the world, including my own country the UK. The term “Modern Slavery” has been coined to describe the continuation of the disgraceful trade into modern times”, he said.
He congratulation the government for taking an honest and determined stance on the issue, noting that Zambia is a source, transit and destination country for men women and children who are forced into labour and sexual exploitation.
Fergus Cochrane-Dyet noted that the trafficking predominantly occurs with Zambia’s borders, with those from rural areas being exploited in urban hubs.
According to official international figures, there is an estimated 92,000 victims of modern slavery in Zambia. In September 2017, at the UN General Assembly in New York, President Lungu and the British Prime Minister Theresa May co-hosted a session on Modern Slavery, and both countries signed the UNGA Call to Action to end Modern Slavery.
Zambia was one of the first countries in the SADC Region to enact specific and comprehensive trafficking in persons legislation, namely The Anti-Human Trafficking Act No. 11 of 2008. An inter-ministerial steering committee was established and the country developed a comprehensive national strategy and action plan to combat trafficking in persons namely – the Anti-Human Trafficking National Action Plan (2012-2015).
Working through UNODC’s partnership with the Zambian authorities the project will seek to prevent and address trafficking by assisting the authorities to develop and implement a comprehensive approach. UNODC’s role will be to coordinate.