Human Trafficking: Children, refugees, displaced people, unemployed youth and women are smuggled through Libya, Egypt then to Europe and beyond. Human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force for the purpose of exploitation.
KHARTOUM AUGUST 4: In 2018, African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) developed a report focused on the implementation of anti-human trafficking laws in the east and horn of Africa. Data collected in this report was intended to serve advocacy purposes, both regionally and internationally.
Countries in the East and Horn of Africa for purposes of this brief include Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda. These countries have high number of illegal immigrants whose lack of proper documentation renders them vulnerable to human trafficking.
Children, immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, displaced people, unemployed youth, and women are smuggled through Libya, Egypt then to Europe and beyond.
Trafficking is defined by the Trafficking Protocol as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
On 30th August 2021, the National Committee to combat human trafficking inaugurated the National Plan for Combating Human Trafficking 2021-2023 in Khartoum Sudan.
The Perpetrators – Human Trafficking
In the case of Sudan, traffickers have been reported to be strategically on the boarders and camps where they either kidnap or buy the smuggled immigrants and unaccompanied children.
Forced labour in gold mines is said also be sourced from trafficking both immigrants and Sudanese nationals, especially beggars, who are found vulnerable to being subjected to it.
Sudan investigated 99 total trafficking cases involving 177 suspected traffickers. 94 were prosecuted and only 7 were convicted under the anti-human trafficking law.
Geographical location has proved to be one of the major challenges in combating human trafficking. Traffickers in Sudan operate along the borders, where immigrants are usually transiting through or heading to. Immigrants from the East and Horn of Africa use Sudan borders as their key route. This then becomes an area of operation.
Government officials, security officers, and the police who have been put in place to fight human trafficking have been working with the traffickers for personal gains. They enable the movement of kidnapped immigrants across borders and allow vulnerable potential victims to access the high-risk areas. These officials also avoid accountability as they’re granted immunity by the National Security legislation.
Poverty is also a great challenge and many fall victim to the human trafficking in the pursuit of a better life or better employment opportunities abroad.
The lack of awareness about human trafficking is also a contributing factor in most of the key areas. Parents selling their children under the assumption that they will leave a good life, unaccompanied minors and vulnerable illegal immigrants accepting to travel abroad under the promise of a better life increases their chances of falling victim to trafficking.
Image: Tapas Kumar Halder