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3rd Political Steering Committee Meeting

The 3rd Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting for the project took place in Lusaka, Zambia on the 25th of May 2023. The PSC convenes annually to discuss the progress made in the implementation of project activities, highlights the challenges encountered by the UN implementing agencies and come up with mitigating strategies to ensure smooth collaboration between the RECs and other stakeholders.


COMESA served as the chair and host of the 3rd PSC. As one of the key partners (RECs) in the project, COMESA led the discussions of the PSC which serves as the governing body of the project to, one, provide strategic leadership, two, hold general policy discussions, and overall


guidance on how to move forward in ensuring the mandate of the SAMM project is achieved .


In the deliberations of the PSC, achievements and progress made in delivering the objectives of the project were highlighted by several part- ners and implementing agencies.


“As workers, we bear witness to the work the South African Migration Management Project has advanced.”


Southern African Trade Union Coordination Council (SATUCC)

▲ Political Steering Committee Members

The European union also applauded the UN agencies together with its partner RECs for the stellar work done in 2022, emphasising the need to accelerate efforts in delivering as one to improve migration management in the region.

Migration partnerships is an important pillar of the EU external action. The SAMM Project contributes to this objective by facilitating legal labour migration and by protecting the rights of migrant workers, refugees and victims of trafficking. As the EU, we are pleased to see it moving forward.”


Head of Cooperation, European Union Delegation to Botswana and SADC


Enhancing the National Committee on Human Trafficking Secretariat

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for Southern Africa (UNODC ROSAF) in collabo- ration with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, and the INTERPOL Regional Bureau for Southern Africa convened a training on trafficking in persons (TIP), smuggling of migrants (SOM) and border management from 17 to 21 April 2023, in Lusaka, Zambia.

The lack of skills and capacity in the detection, identification, investigation, and referral of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants’ cases amongst law enforcement officers, especially front-line officers, remains a significant gap in the trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants response across the Southern Africa Development Community Region and Zambia is no exception. To close this gap, UNODC ROSAF, under the Southern African Migration Management Project (SAMM) framework, enhanced the capacity of law enforcement officers to address trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in Zambia.

The objectives of the training workshop included understanding the international and national legislative provisions on human trafficking and smuggling of migrants; identifying TIP cases; effectively distinguishing TIP and SOM cases; referring victims of trafficking to appropriate institutions for assistance; and improving border management detection and border security.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Mr Auxensio Daka, Commissioner of Police for Administration, said the training on detecting, investigating and referral of TIP and SOM cases as well as border management skills, came at a crucial time as Zambia was experiencing an escalation in trans-national organized crime, especially trafficking in persons along border towns. “Zambia has been seeing an alarming upsurge of undocumented immigrants entering the country illegally, mostly in transit to other countries across the region, and some of these are smuggled migrants as well as victims of trafficking in persons”.

One of the key outcomes of the training work- shop was a discussion and agreement on the investigation techniques required to solve a suspected trafficking in persons’ case, currently under investigation by one of the law enforcement officers in attendance. Participants also took part in a practical exercise at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka as part of the border management segment of the training. Twenty-five participants attended — 14 female and 11 male.

At the end of the training, participants could describe and apply the elements of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants as set out in international and domestic legal frame- works to local trafficking in persons’ cases. The participants could also distinguish between trafficking in persons cases and smuggling of migrants and learned how to apply victim centered approaches when responding to these cases.



Ending Trafficking: No One Left Behind

UNODC, in collaboration with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, handed over basic food items to shelters assisting victims of trafficking in persons on 12 April 2023. The handover forms part of the support provided to shelters in Gauteng and Mpumalanga within the Southern African Migration Project (SAMM) project framework. The donated items will benefit victims of trafficking in persons and shelter personnel.

Protection and assistance to places of shelter for victims of trafficking in persons across the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), including South Africa, remains hugely underfunded. The majority of shelters across SADC are run by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and receive limited public funds. Within this context, in-kind and financial support channeled towards places of shelter remains vital. This support bridges the resource gap evident across places of shelter.

Protection and assistance to places of shelter for victims of trafficking in persons across the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), including South Africa, remains hugely underfunded. The majority of shelters across SADC are run by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and receive limited public funds. Within this context, in-kind and financial support channeled towards places of shelter remains vital. This support bridges the resource gap evident across places of shelter.

Speaking during the official handover ceremony, Ms. Mary Mmushi, shelter representative, said trafficking in persons victims are often for- gotten and left behind in shelters with limited funding resources. “This donation will make a huge difference, and victims will not go to bed on an empty stomach”.

The food items will benefit over 250 victims of trafficking in persons across shelters in Gauteng and Mpumalanga provinces. The handover of the basic food items was undertaken in line with the theme of the 2023 World Day against Trafficking in Persons campaign – “Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind”.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of dis turbing developments and trends in trafficking in persons identified by UNODC. It further calls on governments, law enforcement, public ser- vices, and civil society to assess and enhance their efforts to strengthen prevention, identify and support victims, and end impunity.


Draft Law Proposes Compensation for Victims of Trafficking in Mozambique

A revised draft law on trafficking in persons proposes the creation of a fund to compensate victims of this crime in Mozambique, in line with the spirit of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol which stipulates procedures to ensure that victims have access to compensation.

Mozambique is just the latest country seeking to adopt this specification into national legislation. With a population of about 30 million, Mozambique is a country of origin, transit and destination for victims of human trafficking, who are often part of wider mixed migration flows. Tete province, for example, located on the border with Malawi, is a key transit area of the “Southern Route” used by irregular migrants from the Horn of Africa and beyond, trying to reach South Africa. This route is believed to be targeted by human traffickers seeking to recruit or transfer victims of different nationalities.

Mozambican victims, on the other hand, are often detected in Eswatini with which the country shares a 430km border. The desire for people for a better life and more financial stability often makes people prey to manipulation by traffickers. “People in Mozambique believe that South Africa is the Eldorado,” said Ms. Amabelia Chuquela, Assistant Attorney-General in Mozambique and coordinator of the National Reference Group on Trafficking in Persons.

The proposed compensation mechanism for victims of trafficking is, according to Ms. Chuquela, an innovation drawn from the experiences of other countries, including Egypt, that provide an emolument to enable victims to re-establish their lives.

This is supported by Article 6, paragraph 6 of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol which obligates state parties to ensure that domestic legal systems include provisions that offer victims of trafficking the possibility of obtaining compensation for damages suffered.

Compensation can be in the form of restitution provisions in criminal law, victim compensation funds supported by the state or civil remedies enabling victims to initiate legal action against an offender in order to obtain damages as a result of the harm suffered.

“It is important that states put in place ways that enable victims to be compensated for the grave harms they have suffered and the lost opportunities as a result of their ordeal,” commented Ms. Zoi Sakelliadou, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at UNODC. “It is now imperative to ensure that victims have effective access to remedies such as compensation funds.”

Among the major advocates for compensation is the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons. However, Ms Sakellioadou said just as important is “making compensation accessible and meaningful.”

Thankfully, civil society groups across the world are stepping forward to support victims of trafficking to access compensation and research into the issue of remedies is growing, she said.

In Mozambique the proposal gained ground, thanks to a case that placed human trafficking high up the Government’s agenda, leading to a review of the 2008 trafficking in persons legislation.

The case involved the trafficking for sexual exploitation of three Mozambican women, who were promised the opportunity to study and to work in a hair salon in South Africa. Eventually, cooperation between the authorities in Mozambique and South Africa led to the perpetrators being convicted of trafficking for practices similar to slavery and forced labour.

With support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mozambique had ratified both the United Nations Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the Migrant Smuggling Protocol in September 2006.

Despite this major achievement, Ms. Chuquela emphasized the complexity inherent in identifying the crime of trafficking in persons as well its victims. “Every day the perpetrators change their modus operandi,” she said.

However, Mozambique’s internal dynamics also play a role. For example, instability to the north of the country has led to claims of citizens being coerced to join terrorist groups. Traffickers are also alleged to have targeted internally displaced persons. In the same region, a link is often made between trafficking and the removal of organs.

In addition, recent cyclones on the Mozambique coast displaced thousands, rendering them vulnerable to exploitation. This is compounded by a lack of adequate resource for the fight against trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling by criminal justice institutions.

But UNODC has been on hand to assist the Government, including by supporting legislative reforms as well as providing capacity building, along with data collection and analysis.

In parallel, UNODC has supported cooperation between Mozambique and Eswatini. “Due to regular bilateral meetings, cooperation in cross-border anti-trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants initiatives are at an advanced stage,” said Ms. Jeptum Bargoria, UNODC’s coordinator of the EU-funded Southern Africa Migration Management (SAMM) project.

Story by Wilson Johwa, UNODC Southern Africa