By Jecina Chikwelete
Government has rescued 7 girls from child prostitution in Biwi Township in the city of Lilongwe after a surprise raid of bars and rest houses.
This follows interventions from non-governmental organizations that led to the rescue of a 15-year-old minor from child prostitution in Lilongwe after she was trafficked from her home in Rumphi district.
After flamboyant Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati got informed about the minors story, she led a sweeping exercise which resulted in the freeing up of other 7 girls from similar circumstance in Lilongwe.
Kaliati said, "It is heartbreaking that some officials are in the forefront perpetrating abuse of children."
With Intel from the rescued girl, authorities managed to track the minors after searching drinking joints and rest house where they were indulging in child prostitution against their will.
One person has been arrested in connection with the child trafficking syndicate.
During the raid, Kaliati also ordered young women to go back to respective homes and take care of abandoned children.
Speaking with Timveni Online, Nir Gess, who is Honorary Consul of Israel that is supporting Beth-Israel safe house for those rescued from trafficking emphasized that "special attention needs to be channeled towards efforts aimed at combating trafficking in persons" .
A June 2021 State Department Trafficking in Persons report shows cases sharply increased from 147 in 2019 to 688 in 2020.
Officials say criminal groups earn an estimated 32 Billion US Dollars in profit per year through the sale, exploitation and abuse of victims of trafficking.
The 2015 Trafficking in Persons Act criminalizes sex trafficking and labour trafficking, and prescribes punishment of up to 14 years imprisonment for offences involving an adult victim and up to 21 years imprisonment for those involving a child victim.