Botswana declares zero tolerance for human trafficking

Botswana has put in place appropriate administrative and legal frameworks for the prevention, intervention and the support of victims and survivors of human trafficking, Defense, Justice and Security Minister Shaw Kgathi said Thursday.

Speaking on the occasion of commemoration of the belated World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in Gaborone, Botswana's capital city, Kgathi said strategies aimed at wiping out the trade in human trafficking are in place.

In 2013, the United Nations member states adopted a resolution which designated July 30 as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

Initiating and maintaining partnerships with members of the community, local authorities, civil societies, collaborating partners, youth and families are some of the several strategies that have been put in place in the fight against the scourge of human trafficking, Kgathi said.

"Human trafficking is one silent but very devastating crime, which can affect our loved ones," said Kgathi.

Training of investigators, prosecutors, magistrates and judges in matters of human trafficking has been given a priority alongside the protection of victims or survivors of human trafficking, which were made possible, according to Kgathi.

Kgathi said the government is continuously strengthening the legal provisions for dealing with human trafficking.

In this regard, Kgathi said the Botswana parliament recently passed a law, which introduced amendments to the Anti-Human Trafficking Act of 2014.

"The amendments introduced stiffer penalties in terms of fines, which range between 20,000 U.S. dollars to 100,000 U.S. dollars and prison terms up to life imprisonment," he said.

Botswana has 28 survivors of human trafficking in its custody from Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe and the majority of whom are young women and men suspected of being trafficked in transit to other countries.

Xinhua

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