Mchinji : Global Secretary General for Norwegian Church Aid, Anne-Marie Helland said there is need to step up awareness campaigns on child trafficking to make parents understand the dangers of the criminal activity.
She made the sentiments on Monday in Mchinji during a meeting with district stakeholders on anti-child trafficking.
Helland observed that some parents get easily tricked by child traffickers to offer their children because they do not realise what becomes of such children thereafter.
The Secretary General pointed out that many children are being trafficked to other districts and to outside countries to do menial jobs on farms without getting equivalent wages while others are trafficked for their body parts.
We are taking this issue seriously and we have lined up various interventions including sensitising parents, chiefs and other stakeholders on the evils of child trafficking since many of them are not aware as to what their children are subjected to, she observed.
Helland cited issues of poverty among communities in the country and other countries in Southern Africa as one of the major factors leading to child trafficking as their parents are easily persuaded with money.
If poverty could be combated human trafficking cases could reduce tremendously. There is a need to safeguard the rights of children as they are humans too, she stated.
Salvation Army Malawi in Mchinji disclosed that the district still remains a popular destination for trafficked children, who are forced to work in tobacco fields, brothels, restaurants, and homes under severely exploitative conditions.
Assistant Project Superintendent for Salvation Army and Child Trafficking project in Mchinji, Hazwel Jeam said currently child trafficking is very serious issue in the district saying some children are being taken across the border to Zambia for sex, child labor and forced marriages.
He commended government for coming up with Trafficking Person Act of 2015 which he said prosecutors and magistrates are now using in prosecuting traffickers.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA