UNODC Southern Africa, in partnership with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) recently launched SADCTIPNet (Southern Africa Development Community Trafficking in Persons Network), a new regional network for trafficking in persons in Lobamba, Swaziland. The launch took place at the annual regional trafficking in persons coordination and data collection workshop.
Speaking at the launch, Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, Prime Minister of Swaziland and the SADC Chairperson, encouraged members of the network to “make the standards of implementation match those of design, in terms of on-the-ground effectiveness.” To achieve that, Member States must ensure that data shared through the collection system is accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date, he continued, stressing that effective regional strategies and programme to combat trafficking in persons should emerge from the network.
Also present, Zhuldyz Akisheva, UNODC Regional Representative for Southern Africa, pointed to the 2016 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, noting that the offence primarily takes place domestically and intra-regionally. In that regard, she underscored the importance of sharing information and opening channels of communication amongst trafficking in persons’ focal points.
One of the first joint activities of the network will be the release of a statistical report on the trends and patterns of trafficking in persons in the SADC Region. A draft of the report was already reviewed and is expected to be released by 30 July 2017 on the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
The network will endeavour to harmonise data collection on trafficking in persons, conduct joint awareness raising, strengthen cooperation in victim identification and assistance, and support mutual legal assistance in investigation and prosecution of human trafficking offences. 13 SADC Member States have already joined the network as fully fledged members, while the remaining two remain observer States.
UNODC provides assistance to all SADC member States in strengthening their legal and technical capacities for the ratification and implementation of the Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocol on Trafficking in Persons.
Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime