Human trafficking is a serious crime and gross violation of human rights which must be tackled with the seriousness it deserves, says head of cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Zambia and COMESA, Aad Biesebroek.
And Dr Scott says the Patriotic Front (PF) government would aim at balancing its responses to human trafficking in order to avoid consequences that came with the vice.
Speaking during the 4th symposium on human trafficking in Zambia, Mr Biesebroek said human trafficking must be taken seriously because it was often linked with organised crime.
Mr Biesebroek said human trafficking was also considered as one of the most profitable criminal activities worldwide.
He said after crossing the border, a trafficked migrant was further exploited.
“People are trafficking for the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation or the removal of organs,” Mr Biesebroek said.
He observed that children and women were particularly affected and that women represented 56 per cent of victim of forced economic exploitation while 98 per cent were victims of forced commercial sexual exploitation.
“Children are also trafficked and exploited for begging or illegal activities, such as petty crimes,” Mr Biesebroek said.
He said it was for the same reason that the ambition of the European Union was to establish an inter-sectorial framework to manage migration in a coherent way through political dialogue and close practical cooperation with third world countries.
“We are seeking closer ties with the international organisation to share ideas, improve strategic planning and avoid duplication of wok,” Mr Biesebroek said.
Dr Scott said there was need for Zambians to have a compassionate as well as an efficient response to human trafficking.
He said although illegal migration and human trafficking was proposed as policies by government, there was need for everyone to have a compassionate attitude towards the two vices.
Dr Scott said if left unchecked illegal migration could be dangerous to the country’s security and peace.
And United Nations Resident Coordinator, Simon Cammelbeeck told delegates that everyone had a duty to identify and refer victims of trafficking to the much needed protective services.
“Without doing so, our efforts to ensure we eliminate modern day slavery cannot be realised.
Indeed, without adequately protecting victims of trafficking and supporting their rehabilitation, much needed information on the root causes and nature of this crime is likely to be lost,” Mr Cammelbeeck said.
He said as Zambia would be celebrating its Golden Jubilee year, it was important to reflect on changing the face of trafficking in persons and challenges that had continued to exist in addressing the vice.