Guest Contributor | Jul 29, 2020 | 0
Namibia upgraded to a Tier 1 country, as it champions in the combat against human trafficking – report
The country has made great strides in the fight against human trafficking over the past year, particularly by bringing into force the Combatting of Trafficking in Persons Act of 2018, an official announced Friday.
Namibia has been upgraded to a Tier 1 country in the 2020 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report for fully meeting the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, the U.S. Ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson said in a statement.
Namibia is the only country in Africa to achieve a Tier 1 ranking this year, joining 34 nations globally, she noted.
According to the Embassy, the government made the following key achievements to reach Tier 1 during this reporting period: Finalized implementing regulations for the Combatting of Trafficking in Persons Act of 2018; significantly increased the number of prosecutions, convicted and sentenced one trafficker, and trained front-line responders; identified more victims, referred a higher percentage of identified victims to care, and partially funded two NGO shelters that provided protective services for victims; facilitated the voluntary participation of more victims with law enforcement investigations and provided victim witnesses with protective services; held quarterly meetings of the national anti-trafficking coordination body and launched a nationwide awareness campaign in collaboration with an international organization, increased training of front-line responders to prevent trafficking, and continued to utilize the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional data collection tool to gather and organize clear trafficking data.
“While there is still more work to be done, Namibia should be proud of its efforts to increase public awareness of human trafficking, bring traffickers to justice, and provide essential services to trafficking victims,” she added.
According to Johnson, the TIP report, compiled by the U.S. Department of State, is the world’s most comprehensive resource on governmental anti-trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights issue.
“I want to personally congratulate the government, NGO and civil society organizations, and international organizations for their collaboration and dedication to combating human trafficking in Namibia,” she added
Meanwhile, the US Embassy said, while Tier 1 is the highest-ranking, it does not mean that a country has no human trafficking problem or that it is doing enough to address the problem.