Botswana Police has recorded 44 cases in which Batswana were trafficked out of the country.
The statistics indicate that out of the number 20 are minors aged from 0-15 years. Six of them are boys and the rest are girls. Zimbabwe recorded a higher number of children trafficked at five, followed by South-Africa with three and Malawi, Kenya, England, Canada and America with two each.
As for adults the statistics indicate that their main trafficking destination is Canada and by far 22 females and three Males have been trafficked to the country. The age group getting trafficked the most are adult’s aged 30 to 45 followed by ages 30 to 15, 0 to 15 and over 45 years.
Presenting at the regional seminar on trafficking persons in Southern Africa Botswana Police Service Deputy Divisional CID Officer, South Central Division Richard Butali said the statistics indicate that the country has trafficking problems.
Butali pointed out that despite that currently there is no law that directly addresses trafficking the police depends on a number of Penal Codes and other pieces of legislation such as the Children’s Act to address the issue.
“But they are not as effective because they don’t directly deal with the crime,” he said. Butali said human trafficking is complex in such that most of the time victims are not corporative, there is often corruption involved, officers are not trained for such investigations and often traffickers use fake names which make it hard to track them down.
“Anti trafficking legislation needs to be passed in parliament so that there can be action on ground.” For his part Secretary for Defense Justice and Security Augustine Makgonatsotlhe said human trafficking is very complex as it is a multi million-dollar business that affects crime syndicates worldwide. “It needs intelligence and persecutors who understand the complexity of the issue because it is a serious crime.”
Makgonatsotlhe said they have drafted a human trafficking Bill that they hope will be passed by the cabinet. ”The Bill does not only provide for prosecution of the crime but also has a clause that provides funds for trafficked victims to assist with their needs.”