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TOWARDS 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP:. NATIONAL DIALOGUE AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN MALAWI. POSSIBLE INTERVENTIONS:. Prevention Social mobilization Rehabilitation Reintegration Case study: The Salvation Army Child Anti- Trafficking Project, Mchinji, Malawi

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    2. POSSIBLE INTERVENTIONS: • Prevention • Social mobilization • Rehabilitation • Reintegration Case study: The Salvation Army Child Anti- Trafficking Project, Mchinji, Malawi By Steve Kamwendo, Project Manager

    3. BACKGROUND: • Malawi, as many Sub-Sahara African countries is considered to be a country of origin and transit for men, women and children trafficked for the purpose of forced labour and sexual exploitation • Trafficking victims, both children and adults, are involved in exploitative situations by offers of rewarding jobs either in other locations of Malawi or Zambia and South Africa (Source:http: // • Children are internally trafficked for forced agricultural labour, house girls, selling beers in local bars and sexual exploitation • It is also believed that sexual tourism may be occuring in the country, primarily along the lakeshore • The government, through the Ministry of Women and Child Development, has confirmed the practice, said further that the towns of Mchinji and Dedza becoming notorious for trafficking children to brothels into neighbouring countries of Mozambique and Zambia • Children are picked from their parental homes in rural areas after brothel owners pay some money to parents of the children • They give the parents MK1,000 (about 8 USD) and tell them that the children will be employed in restaurants

    4. Background cont’d • Some brothel owners entice children from poor families, give them food and accommodation and turn them into prostitutes. This is supported by the high poverty levels in Malawi • When any girl shows signs of being sick, they are told to go back home, but others get stranded within the towns, as they do not know their way to their villages • The two towns of Mchinji and Dedza and many others in Malawi have limited number of organizations to support these girls after being deserted by their former masters/mistresses • Mchinji border town is one of the main routes of trafficking men, women and children to Zambia, and a town with increased cases of children engaged in child labour including child prostitution, working in tobacco estates and domestic servants • In December 2005 alone for example, a total of 42 children were identified, but the number was higher since many employers of these children do work underground. Majority of these children reported maltreatment by their masters/mistresses, and most of them were fired without any payments (Mchinji District Weekly Emergency Report on Protection and OVC, December, 2005)

    5. Background cont’d • Again, according to the Mchinji District Weekly Emergency Report on Protection and OVC, in the same period of December 2005, a total of 12 children were rescued while being trafficked to different areas in Zambia to work in estates, homes and as cattle herders. However, due to lack of adequate resources to track down these traffickers, it is believed that many children crossed the border to Zambia through bush routes • Traffickers persuade parents and the victims that they will have respectable jobs in Zambia, better life or chance of better education. • In fact, some of these parents may even know or suspect that their children will be sex workers or involved in other forms child labour, but due to poverty and lack of awareness on the dangers of trafficking and the extent of the abuse and degradation they will suffer, in most cases they have no choice • The Salvation Army officers residing in Mchinji due to their involvement with an OVC project called Tiyeni Tisamalirane (Let’s Care of One Another), community members together with the Government Department of Social Welfare identified the problem and shared their concerns with command headquarters • TSA Development Services Office and some TSA officers residing in the

    6. Background cont’d district conducted a rapid assessment involving community members and the DSWO to assess actual needs • Through the process, a community member was impressed with the Army’s initiative, and he donated a six-acre land and built a four-room building to act as a drop-in centre/transit centre for victims of child trafficking. The centre is called The Salvation Army Kayesa Counseling Centre (SAKCC) • This ensures us all that child trafficking is a major concern of even the community members themselves

    7. POSSIBLE INTERVENTIONS: • The Salvation Army Child Anti-Trafficking Project has been in operation since October, 2006 • Its interventions are based on a USA-coined phrase termed 3r’s, which are: • Rescue • Reintegration • Rehabilitation combined with 3p’s, viz: • Prevention • Protection • Prosecution

    8. Towards a comprehensive counter-trafficking strategy: Prevention: • Awareness raising • Research • Seminars/networking • Information campaigns • Media • Regional cooperation Protection: • Shelter • Medical/psychological assistance • Travel documentation • Voluntary return and reintegration • Safety

    9. Towards a comprehensive counter-trafficking strategy: cont’d • Information and awareness raising • Regional collaboration Responding to the challenge: Prosecution: • Strengthen laws • Increase penalties • Build capacity • Cooperation- NGOs and law enforcement • Transnational cooperation

    10. PROJECT GOAL AND OBJECTIVES • The goal of the project is to contribute to the prevention, and improvement of the physical, economic and psycho-social wellbeing of victims of child trafficking, children involved in other forms of child labour and their families/caretakers • In order to achieve this goal, three objectives were formulated, thus: Objective 1: Raise public awareness to communities on child trafficking, the dangers of trafficking and protections available in the country Objective 2: To build the capacity of people including community members, TSA officers, and other stakeholders on sustainable community-based preventive measures on child anti-trafficking Objective 3: Provide care, support and restore hope of rescued victims of child trafficking and their families

    11. PROJECT ACTIVITIES: Objective 1: Raise public awareness to communities on child trafficking, its dangers and protections available in the country Community awareness and sensitization meetings • This ensures community involvement, participation and project ownership • Monthly awareness and sensitization meetings are organized in partnership with the DSWO targeting community members, village headmen and other stakeholders eg. police officers, immigration officials, minibus and bicycle drivers based at the border • The targeted communities are encouraged to form Child Anti-Trafficking Prevention Teams (CAPTs) • Project staff together with community volunteers continue to identify locations where trafficking occurs such as local bars, guest houses, brothels and at the border post, and sensitize officials on the dangers of child trafficking

    12. PROJECT ACTIVITIES: cont’d • As part of community awareness campaign, awareness materials such as posters, leaflets and t-shirts are developed and distributed to the targeted communities Objective 2: To build the capacity of Mchinji community and stakeholders on sustainable community-based preventive measures and the dangers of child trafficking Community capacity building The project, in partnership with the DSWO, organizes special trainings to stakeholders on preventive measures, care and support of victims of child trafficking • Training workshops for government officials targeting the Malawi Police officers, immigration officers, prison officials, local magistrates, social welfare department, teachers and law enforcers, etc • Training workshops for minibus/taxi/bicycle drivers at the district

    13. PROJECT ACTIVITIES: cont’d • Training workshops for TSA officers and other staff working in different TSA projects in the country • Community training workshops for community leaders and other members residing in Mchinji and neighbouring villages including T/As, village/group village headmen, religious leaders and other stakeholders in the targeted communities Objective 3: Provide care, support and restore hope of at least 240 victims of child trafficking and their families per year a) TSA Kayesa Counseling Centre (SAKCC) • The project has a counseling centre at Mchinji town for the victims of child trafficking particularly those coming back from Zambia rescued by Police or community members on the way to Zambia and those rescued from local bars, guesthouses, plantations and brothels

    14. PROJECT ACTIVITIES: cont’d • The counseling centre provides temporary accommodation for a maximum of 20 victims at a time, meals, counseling services, psycho-social support, spiritual counseling, sports, skills training eg. sewing, knitting, gardening and poultry keeping to rehabilitate and empower the victims economically • The centre also facilitates payment of victims salaries by the employers in conjunction with the District Labour Office • Wherever appropriate, the Labour Office also assists in bringing the perpetrators of child trafficking before the courts of law for prosecution • The victims in need of medical attention are referred to the district hospital for further support • The victims are normally referred to the centre by the Social Welfare Office, the Police, CAPTs and other community members • Social workers at the centre assess the victims whether or not they meet the centre’s admission criteria • Individual files are then opened for each client documenting personal information such as home address, educational background and other relevant information

    15. PROJECT ACTIVITIES: cont’d b) Counseling and psycho-social support • The project focuses on raising awareness on the varied emotional and psycho-social needs of the victims in order to mitigate the trauma that the victims face • The victims are sensitized about HIV/AIDS, its impacts and key prevention strategies as part of counseling • The victims, especially girls, are also provided with coping skills and strategies to protect themselves from sexual exploitation • The victims are also encouraged to know their HIV status and ensured adequate counseling and testing services are available to them • In order to reduce stigma, the project invites OVCs and other children in the selected communities to participate in plays and other social gatherings with the victims c) Family re-unification • As part of victims of child trafficking rights to parental love, care and protection, the project facilitates and assists in the reintegration process of at least 120 (an average of 10 per month) victims of child trafficking with their parents or members of the extended families of their choice

    16. PROJECT ACTIVITIES: cont’d • Before reintegration, a pre-unification visit to the victims’ home areas is carried out to identify family members, provide counseling and prepare them to accept back the victims of child trafficking • After reintegration, project social workers visit the reintegrated victims at least four times a year for followup, spiritual support, etc • As part of awareness and sensitization strategy, project social workers during the visits also sensitize family members, village headmen and other community leaders on the dangers of child trafficking, their problems, protections available and other related issues, including children’s rights d) Educational support • The project supports education (primary/secondary school, vocational/skills training) of the victims of child trafficking rescued at Mchinji • Through counseling and psycho-social support services, social workers identify educational needs of the victims and provide necessary support

    17. PROJECT ACTIVITIES: cont’d • Wherever appropriate, the project endeavours to link with other stakeholders to be able to address needs, which are not covered, by the project • Selected older victims will be given access to vocational training of their choice, which may assist them to acquire formal or informal employment after completion • Income-Generating Activity (IGA) • The project has a micro-credit facility to empower economically the victims of child trafficking and their families to meet victims needs after reintegration particularly schooling, housing, food, medical treatment and other social needs • As part of the family pre-unification process, social workers assess economic status of the family, and whether it contributed to the trafficking of the child • A recommendation is later made by the social workers whether or not the family may need an income-generating activity • An average of 25 victims are supported with an IGA per annum

    18. CHALLENGES FACED: • Lack of adequate financial resources to carry out project activities effectively and efficiently • Inadequate laws to specifically address child trafficking • Knowledge gap on available laws and services • Corruption • Lack of birth certificates in Malawi makes it very difficult to differentiate minors from adults. This applies mainly to girls engaged in prostitution

    19. END Thank you very much for your attention. May God bless you!!!