THE Namibian Police have warned residents of the country to educate themselves on the dangers of human trafficking because a growing number of people have become victims of the phenomenon also known as modern day slavery.
The trade in humans has become a serious global concern and people from Namibia have become the victims of trafficking over the past few years. According to a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Division, several cases were reported in Namibia and that there had been some arrests and convictions.
In this regard Chief Inspector Kaunapawa Shikwambi said unsuspecting young Namibians, especially women, are lured through advertisements offering lucrative jobs in foreign countries.
The first human trafficking case in Namibia was reported in 2010, and afterwards, many other cases of trafficking have been reported and there had been some arrests and convictions.
Many who applied and were successful for these jobs have become victims of trafficking and hence investigations were launched.
The human trafficking statistics of 2010-2019 in Namibia revealed that 48 cases of human trafficking were recorded country wide, of which 13 were finalised, 15 are still under investigation and 20 are still on the court roll. Among the 13 finalised cases, 04 ended in convictions.
Shikwambi said they want to caution as well as educate the nation further on issues of human trafficking to help bring these important and to educate and save the nation from this grave violation of human rights.
Recent reports have shown an increase in human trafficking cases worldwide and Namibia is no exception.
Trafficking in persons is a serious global phenomenon whereby men, women and children are being bought and trafficked from one area and sold in different locations, as commodities, and exploited for a range of purposes.
In October 2018 an adult male, Henock Kaveto, was convicted in the high court for the Contravention of the Labour Act (Child Labour). The accused was found guilty for exploiting the minor in domestic servitudes. He was sentenced to a total of three years imprisonment or pay the amount of N$ 12 000-00.
In October 2018, Bertrus John Koch was convicted in the high court on charges of child trafficking (harbouring children in his home with the intention of committing immoral act). He was sentenced to a total of 8 years imprisonment.
In February 2019, Dragon Vujicin, a South African male adult, was convicted on three charges of trafficking in persons and seven charges of Rape. He was sentenced to a total of 35 years imprisonment for the crimes of rape and trafficking.
Between 2016-2017 David Nauyala Shoombe was convicted on charges of trafficking in persons (forced labour). He was sentenced to a total of 12 months imprisonment.
Anyone with information of possible trafficking or suspicion about human trafficking must report to the nearest Police Station or to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare.