OTJIWARONGO, 30 JULY – Residents of the Otjozondjupa Region on Monday commemorated World Day against Trafficking in Persons at Otjiwarongo.
Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah in a speech delivered on her behalf, said the day was adopted in 2013 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
Later that year, the UN General Assembly declared 30 July as the day it would be commemorated worldwide.
“The purpose of the day is to create public awareness and share experiences and ways to prevent this unacceptable practice,” she said.
This year’s commemoration was held under the theme ‘Responding to the trafficking of children and young people’.
Nandi-Ndaitwah urged parents and community members to tell children and unemployed young people to be alert when dealing with strangers or desperate family members who they might fall victim to.
She also said in-depth training on human trafficking is needed for social workers, community liaison officers, traditional leaders, police officers, labour inspectors, teachers, school learners and customs and excise officials.
Speaking on behalf of the Otjiwarongo youth groups, Kelao Neumbo said the majority of human trafficking victims are unemployed young people, women and girls who are influenced to enter marriages unexpectedly at a tender age or lured into domestic work or prostitution activities.
“An estimated 27 million women, girls, boys and men are currently the victims of human trafficking globally,” she said.
Neumbo said this illegal activity is real and prevalent in both urban and rural areas in the Otjozondjupa Region and are not reported to the police.
She said the use of deception by way of promises of employment have led to many people being tricked into sexual exploitation, hard labour or abusive marriages.
Otjozondjupa regional and local authority councillors and members of the Namibian Police Force and Namibian Defence Force also attended Monday’s event.