News / Africa

African Union Launches a New Campaign to Fight Human Trafficking

AU officials say global downturn may be contributing to the problem

James Butty

The African Union (AU) has launched a new initiative to combat human trafficking on the continent. The launch came on the same day the United States added six more African countries to a blacklist of countries trafficking in humans. Chad, Eritrea, Niger, Mauritania, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe were added to the list in the U.S. annual report which analyzes the efforts in 173 countries to combat human trafficking.

African Union Launches a New Campaign to Fight Human Trafficking
African Union Launches a New Campaign to Fight Human Trafficking

The new plan, called the AU Commission Initiative against Trafficking, was launched as part of the commemorations marking the “Day of the African Child”. AU’s Commissioner for Social Affairs Bience Gawanas says the new campaign aims to eliminate human trafficking, especially in women and children.

“The idea behind the AU Commission Initiative against Trafficking is really aimed at galvanizing support against trafficking but also for the implementation of those instruments that have been adopted whether it is at national, regional, continental or international level,” she said.

Gawanas said the new initiative was also necessary because the AU anticipates there might be an increase in trafficking during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The United States Tuesday added six more African countries to a blacklist of countries trafficking in human beings.

Gawanas said the issue of human trafficking has become prevalent throughout Africa.

“About two weeks ago, I attended the SADC (Southern African Development Community) ministerial meeting on trafficking…and during the discussion it was quite clear that there is a serious concern about trafficking, not only in West Africa…but both in eastern Africa and southern Africa,” Gawanas said.

She said apart from the adoption of a plan action, the fight against human trafficking was not on the agenda of the African Union.

“Now that we have launched it, it would be expected that member states will have measures for prevention, will have measures for protection, and will have measures for prosecution of traffickers,” she said.

Gawanas also said the AU campaign against human trafficking will include raising public awareness and making sure governments have the right instruments in place to execute the plan.

She said the global economic downturn might also be contributing to the rise in human trafficking in Africa.

“Obviously as it is the case with HIV/AIDS, as it is the case with many other challenges that are faced by the different continents, whatever happens in the global economy will have an impact,” Gawanas said.

Gawanas called on Africans to give human trafficking the importance it deserves if the continent is to move away from what she called today’s modern slavery.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid