Phalombe, Phalombe Police Station has warned communities in the district against conniving with child traffickers to ferry children from Malawi to neighbouring countries.
The police said the unlawful act has become a trend in the district, especially now that the growing season is at the peak both in Malawi and its neighbouring countries.
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday after sensitizing communities at Sub-Traditional Authority Ndanga in the district, Police Spokesperson for Phalombe, Innocent Moses said there were growing concerns of some parents and guardians allowing strange people to take their children to work in Mozambique, where instead, they are abused in many ways.
Strangers come to our villages and persuade young people that they will provide them with good jobs and better lives in other countries especially Mozambique, but when they get there most of them are made to work in farms and other unsafe places.
They end up regretting. Some of them are younger than working ages, that is why we want to put a stop to the malpractice, said Moses.
Moses further said at that stage it becomes hard for them to come to Malawi and they turn into typical horses at the hand of the people they work for.
He added that apart from the act being unlawful in Malawi, it also reduces children’s chances to attain education and become reliable citizens, while exposing them to bad environments that turn them into criminals.
We have seen some of them come back and become hardcore criminals after some years. All that is because while working there they adapt to harsh conditions and accept criminal life as normal, Moses said.
Ndanga area, which is under Mulanje District but is within Phalombe policing jurisdiction, proves to be one of the soft play grounds for child traffickers where parents and guardians’ laxity in protecting their children is fuelling the trend.
Speaking on the sidelines of the sensitization meeting, Mercy Malinga who is a member of Ndanga Child Protection Committee confirmed that parents in the area do not take child protection seriously, a tendency that has left many children vulnerable to being trafficked.
Parents do not care to know where their children are at a particular time, and some allow their children to sleep at night events such as dances without even ensuring their security, said Malinga.
In the year 2017, Phalombe Police Station has intercepted several child trafficking progressions and rescued a number of children, some of whom revealed false promises that the traffickers made to their parents.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA