Somalia, AU vow to enhance fight against human trafficking

Somalia and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have vowed to enhance the fight against human trafficking which is rampant across the borders.

The AU mission, which organized a forum in Mogadishu to mark the World Day against Trafficking in Persons to help raise awareness on promoting and protecting the rights of victims of trafficking, said the vice has forced many people into becoming slaves.

Rex Dundun, acting police commissioner of AMISOM, said equipping security officers with knowledge was critical in the fight against trafficking in persons.

"If people do not have the background information, if communities and law enforcement agencies are not sensitized on how to tackle and combat the scourge, then definitely society will be at risk," Dundun said according to a statement issued on Wednesday evening. 

"These incidents of trafficking have left many people becoming slaves, led to servitude and even to people losing lives," he added.

Mohamed Mohamoud Garaar, deputy director-in-charge of planning and training in Somalia Police Force, said the trafficking of persons was a vice that needed to be tackled.

"Admitting and acknowledging that the problem exists is the first step in finding a solution," Garaar noted. Radoslaw Malinowski, chief executive of Awareness Against Human Trafficking (HAART) noted that combating the vice of trafficking in persons which he called modern day slavery had severe detriments on the lives of victims, families and communities.

"We call it modern slavery because it resembles the old traditional slavery. It has negative effects on victims, on individuals and it destroys people's lives," Malinowski said.

Smuggling of migrants involves the facilitation of illegal entry of a person into a state of which that person is not a national or resident, for financial or other material benefit.

"Stopping the issue of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants requires international cooperation. It cannot be dealt with by only one country. It is not an issue for Somalia only but is an issue all over the world," said Fridah Kibuko, who represented GIZ Better Migration Management, at the gathering.