By Fostina Mkandawire & Tione Andsen
Lilongwe, April 7, Mana: Government has called for concerted efforts of all key stakeholders in addressing the wicked acts of Trafficking in Persons (TIP).
Ministry of Homeland Security in conjunction with the Ministry of Gender on Wednesday presented licences to four designated Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) which would be providing shelter to victims of human trafficking at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
The Organizations that received licences are Love Justice Malawi, Gateway of Hope, Salvation Army and Youth Network and Counselling (YONECO).
Speaking during the presentation ceremony of the licences, Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda said licensing NGOs was in line with government’s commitment towards preventing and eliminating human trafficking.
He said government was compelled by TIP Act of 2015 to present licences to organisations that have met the minimum standards to operate shelters for Trafficked victims.
“This day is historic because for the first time in the history of fighting human trafficking in the country, we are officially designating premises of the first four pioneer organizations to operate shelters for survivors of TIP,” Banda said.
He said after survivors were rescued the country never had shelters whereby they could receive counselling and psychosocial support from the trauma they had gone through.
The Minister urged the four organizations to ensure that the shelters where up to the standards as stipulated in the TIP Act 2015.
“We do not want to compromise on standard and quality, we want the shelters to be providing a place of solace and security whereby the victims can be provided with care and reassurance of safety,” Banda said.
He commended the four organizations for designating their premises to shelter survivors of TIP.
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Dr Patricia Kaliati said her Ministry would make sure that designated Protection Officers are deployed in all borders in the country.
She said with increased number of trafficking cases among women and children, the protection officer should make sure such acts are stopped along the borders.
Kaliati said trafficking survivors need to be provided with care, support and protection saying this was only way to help them being integrated into their communities.
“As a Ministry, we are keen to working with the four NGOs providing shelters services to the TIP survivors. We will be monitoring to make sure that the set standards of the safe homes are being maintained to the expectations. We will always be there to provide technical support,” the Minister assured.
Chairperson for one of the organizations that was presented with a licence, Gateway of Hope, Christina Kachimanga said they were happy that they were given a go ahead to be running the shelter home.
She said her organisation would be providing daily needs and support to survivor’s victims of TIP.
“We will ensure that the shelter is managed by the set standards and not compromising on quality. We will be sheltering TIP survivors by ensuring that they are provided with counselling and psychosocial therapy services.