UNODC Workshop to evaluate the effectiveness of Zambia’s National Policy to combat Human Trafficking

Lusaka, Zambia, 23-27 February 2020 - UNODC, in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs of Zambia, convened a 3-day workshop to identify existing gaps in Zambia’s National Policy to Combat Human Trafficking (2007).

The workshop brought together 20 experts from relevant government departments and civil society organizations and laid the basis for developing a revised and comprehensive national policy in Zambia.

The review of the current national policy revealed that its provisions are not fully aligned with the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children. Furthermore, some of the provisions are obsolete and not consistent with other existing national policies and standard operation procedures in Zambia.

The workshop was officially opened by Mr. Alex Mukisi from the Ministry of Home Affairs. He informed the participants that the national policy of 2007 has serious gaps which hinder its effective implementation. Some of the gaps highlighted include, but are not limited to, the absence of provisions on child trafficking, ambiguities relating to the operationalization of the Human Trafficking Fund, and inadequate distinction between human trafficking and smuggling of migrants. Furthermore, he lamented the absence of a dedicated team in charge of the national secretariat on human trafficking and called for the situation to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Expert Mrs. Elizabeth Mwansa, one of the pioneers of the current national policy to combat human trafficking, said: “Zambia needs to respond to the emerging forms and manifestations of trafficking in persons. To do so, it is urgent to revise the outdated provisions of the national policy”.

Participants called for the removal of references to the smuggling of migrants in the national policy to combat human trafficking, which would minimize the challenges and uncertainty experienced by most frontline officials regarding the distinction between the two offences.

The workshop concluded with the recommendation to review the national policy to ensure the effective prevention, prosecution and protection against human trafficking. The review process is to be undertaken in partnership with UNODC.

This activity is part of a joint project of UNODC with the Government of Zambia funded by the United Kingdom, named "Strengthening the implementation of a comprehensive response to trafficking in persons in Zambia". Under this project UNODC provides technical assistance to Zambia towards programmes aimed at combating human trafficking

This project contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 on the strengthening of peace, justice and strong institutions.