IOM, Namibia Launch Initiative to Combat Human Trafficking

The Government of the Republic of Namibia and IOM have officially launched a three-year initiative to combat trafficking in persons. The project is funded by the United States Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

The project was officially launched by Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah during the opening ceremony of a two-day inception workshop organized by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW) last week (04/04).

The event saw the Namibian Government and IOM introduce the initiative to a wider audience and highlighted current efforts to tackle human trafficking in the country. The initiative aims to contribute to the Government of Namibia and civil society efforts to coordinate anti-trafficking responses, protect victims of trafficking and prosecute traffickers.

This important inception event marks an important milestone in the ever expanding cooperation between IOM and the Government of Namibia. The fight against one of the most heinous crimes of our time, human trafficking, calls for such coordinated efforts and collaborative approaches for joint actions,rdquo; said Yitna Getachew, IOM’s regional counter trafficking specialist for Southern Africa.

The launch was followed by a workshop which focused on creating a better understanding of trafficking in persons, its definitions, causes, consequences, including elements that differentiate trafficking from other crimes. This was to ensure a smooth roll out of the project, promote co-ordination amongst all the stakeholders and enable a well-thought out action plan for this initiative.

According to the 2015 US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report, Namibia is a country of origin and destination for children and to a lesser extent, women, trafficked for forced labour and sexual exploitation. Within the country, traffickers exploit Namibian children in agricultural forced labour, cattle herding, and domestic service, as well as prostitution in Windhoek and Walvis Bay.

Source: International Office of Migration (IOM).