The International Organisation for Migration (IOM)’s Zimbabwe chief of mission Mario Lito Malanca has warned desperate job seekers against falling prey to human traffickers masquerading as employment agents.
In a statement Thursday, Malanca said cross-border recruitment exposed job seekers to human trafficking where victims are forced into prostitution and slavery once in foreign lands. Malanca said:
Cross-border recruitment is a vital part of facilitating international labour mobility. When implemented in a fair and transparent manner, it contributes to safe and orderly labour migration which benefits countries of origin and destination, employers and migrants.
However, when international standards are not adhered to, the risks to migrant workers can be severe. Fraudulent and unethical behaviour by unscrupulous labour recruiters can lead to conditions of human trafficking and forced labour.
He expressed gratitude to the government of Zimbabwe for its commitment in promoting good labour migration governance.
Zimbabwe has recorded cases where victims have been trafficked, particularly to Middle East countries such as Kuwait and Oman.
Zimbabweans take the risk of going abroad as the local industry is collapsed and cannot sustain the demand.
Malanca also hinted on the establishment of Migrant Resource Centres in Harare and Bulawayo to provide much-needed avenue for migrants to facilitate pre-departure orientation, raise awareness on human trafficking as well as facilitate referrals to service providers.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima told NewsDay that the national labour migration policy launched last year in collaboration with IOM and the International Labour Organisation was aimed at protecting the rights of migrants.
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