By Jecina Chikwelete
As part of 30 days awareness against human trafficking, Malawi Network Against Trafficking (MNAT) with funding from Norwegian Church Aid conducted field visits in Phalombe and Zomba where it was discovered that the current looming hunger and poverty are some factors fueling human trafficking in the country.
During a recent field visit in Zomba, people living in the human trafficking prone areas in the southern region condemned the looming hunger and poverty, saying the two vices are fueling the behavior.
Speaking on conditions of anonymity, parents to some children aged 11 and 13 years respectively, and were rescued from a Mozambican trafficker told Newsline that they fail to provide for their families due to hunger resulting from poor rains the country received in last year's farming season.
One of the parents to an 11 year old boy who is also a single mother raising four children due to broken marriage and a mother to 13 year boy who is also a widow raising 6 children, said life is tough hence allowing their kids to go work outside the country.
Among others, the kids told newsline that they always go to school on an empty stomach which makes them lose concentration on their education and going to Mozambique was the only solution to their problems.
In his remarks, T/A Chikowi advised people to monitor their children whereabouts and keep children away from strangers.
T/A Chikowi said as one way of curbing the practice, he has put in place by-laws to be followed and vowed to punish parents involved in the malpractice.
The T/A also pleaded with well-wishers to help people in the area with food to create better homes for children.
Malawi is currently observing 30 days awareness against human trafficking which started on 30 July and ends on 29 August.
On 29 August, World Day Against Trafficking in Persons commemorations will take place in Phalombe.
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