Human trafficking on the rise: Youths targeted.

NYDT and the Bulawayo Youth Council partnered with the United States Embassy and the Youth Press Bureau to raise awareness amongst youths, on trafficking in persons, which is feared to be on the increase thanks to the Soccer world cup being held in South Africa, poverty and unemployment which forces Zimbabwean youths to desperately seek “greener pastures”. Human trafficking, which postures as neo-slavery is said to mostly affect vulnerable young people, especially HIV and AIDS orphans, women and girls. More than 50 young people gathered to discuss the growing effects of human trafficking in Zimbabwe particularly and the region and world in general.

Renowned international speaker Ye Ting Woo, an Assistant United States Attorney for Seattle under the Terrorism and Violent Crimes Unit in the United States Attorney’s Office in Western District of Washington, took youths through the potential snares of human trafficking using a short documentary recorded in the United States of America about the effects of this practice in that country.
According to research, poverty has been sighted as one of the biggest drivers of both the victims and perpetrators of human trafficking. In Zimbabwe for example, thousands of desperate young people cross the boarder illegally into neighbouring countries like Botswana and South Africa to try and make a living. Many of these youths do not own travel documents and place themselves at the mercy of cross border transporters who refuse to free them before they pay the full amount for transporting them and paying the bribes to cross them over the boarder.

The most vulnerable of these are women and girls who are almost always sexually abused during the transit period and also forced into prostitution at the ports of arrival to cover for their debt. Another factor sighted has been the growing practice of witchcraft in neighbouring South Africa which has led to an increase in the number of kidnappings and ritual murders in Zimbabwe.

According to a recent research on child abuse, human trafficking and modern day slavery in Zimbabwe “anecdotal information suggested that citizens who emigrated to seek a better life were exploited while employed illegally in a neighbouring country, when being deported, or after being lured to another country by false employment schemes. The groups at highest risk were HIV/AIDS orphans and displaced persons.” (

Young people were thus urged to be alert of especially known family friends and relations who used enticing stories about other countries to get them to travel there to find jobs and a better life. Human trafficking is a form of slavery, youths were told, and it is them who can nip it in the bud.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by bulawayoyouthcouncil on July 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    a good move as it addresses the situation on the ground…


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