Rwanda rallies efforts against human trafficking

GMT 21:29 2014 Saturday ,11 October

Arab Today, arab today Rwanda rallies efforts against human trafficking

Rwanda's First Lady Jeannette Kagame
Kigali - XINHUA

 More Rwandan leaders have voiced concern over reports of human trafficking in the country.
Rwanda's First Lady Jeannette Kagame is among those who have added their voice against the cross border crime.
There have been calls in the country in recent times for more vigilance following reports that Rwanda was acting as a source as well as transit route for victims of human trafficking.
At least 153 cases of human trafficking were registered since 2009 in the east African country with some of them involving traffickers who use Rwanda as a transit route for victims.
Majority of the victims are normally young girls below the age of 35, according to police.
The victims are reportedly taken to Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Zambia, Malawi and Asia.
Speaking at a national dialogue on human trafficking in Kigali on Friday, Mrs Kagame called for collective efforts to stamp out human trafficking, gender based violence and drug abuse.
The First Lady emphasized that Rwanda has previously fought against drug abuse, and there is need to review the progress.
"The linkage between drug abuse, gender based violence and human trafficking is the reason we are to fight these crimes concurrently. We are informed that most of the children trafficked are victims of drug abuse," she said.
The Inspector General of Rwanda National Police, Emmanuel Gasana, noted that after drugs and fire arms, human trafficking is the next largest source of income for organized crime worldwide.
In Rwanda, he said, human trafficking has mostly been a result of deception, corruption and ignorance.
Justice Minister Johnson Busingye said between 2011 and 2014, 24 cases of human trafficking were reported to the prosecution, 10 of them were dropped, nine were tried while four people were convicted and five acquitted.
He said the challenges in trying human trafficking cases is dealing with inadequate information since the victim sometimes become part of the story, knowing the trafficking routes, and countries having different stand on the crime.
Busingye suggested the penalties for human trafficking in the country are lenient.
Upon conviction, human tracking attracts a term of imprisonment of seven years to ten years and a fine of 7,257 U.S. dollars or double the fine in Rwanda's Penal code.
"Statistics should guide us when we are drafting the laws. The gravity of the crime towards the society should be a guiding factor in determining the punishment. If the penal code does not bring about the deterrence of the crime then we should make a review, these are human beings at stake," the minister said.

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