Zim passes new Human Trafficking Bill

HARARE - Zimbabwe has passed legislation that tightens penalties for human trafficking, and criminalise Internet service providers hosting adverts linked to the scourge.

The Trafficking in Persons Bill, published in the latest Government Gazette, closes a loophole that allows many sex predators to walk free.

The Bill imposed a punishment ranging from life imprisonment or imprisonment of not less than 10 years for human trafficking.

The law comes as human trafficking has become the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world, with nearly two million children worldwide in the commercial sex trade today, according to Unicef.

The Trafficking in Persons Bill also seeks to criminalise the hosting of adverts or any material on the Internet that is linked human trafficking.

“Any person being an Internet service provider operating in Zimbabwe, is aware of any site on its server that contains information in contravention of subparagraph (IV) shall be guilty of the crime of trafficking in person,” reads the bill.

“Any person who advertises or assists in the advertising, printing, publication, broadcasting or distribution by any means, nay, material that promotes the trafficking in persons shall be guilty of the crime of trafficking in person.”

The bill also seeks to appoint a committee on trafficking in persons with a mandate to formulate and implement a national plan of action against trafficking in persons.

It also seeks to create centres for victims of trafficking.

The Bill outlines that trafficking punishment will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

“Penalties for the crime will vary in gravity depending on whether the accused person is the actual trafficker himself or herself, or simply an associate or assistant to the trafficker,” reads the preamble to the Bill.

The Bill provides for the powers of law enforcement agents that include the police, customs and immigration officers, to question, search and detain persons entering or leaving Zimbabwe as well as seize property of suspected persons where there exists a reasonable suspicion that the crime of trafficking in persons is being or is about to be committed.

The Bill also provides for protection of victims in connection with the prosecution of traffickers under the Act.

It also empowers the courts to order the confiscation of all proceeds derived from or property used in connection with trafficking and provides for the establishment of centres for victims of trafficking in persons and for the programmes that might be offered to them.

Comments (3)

basop bomalayitsha!!

moff - 10 March 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.